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Entries Som-Tn 


General Abbreviations 


Abbreviations used in Rabbinical Literature 


Bibliographical Abbreviations 


Transliteration Rules 





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A — 






Illuminated initial letter "5" q/* 
t/?e word Salvus af f/ie opening of 
Psalm 68 (Vulgate; 6$ according 
to the Masoretic text) in the Bo- 
hun Psalter, 14 th century. The four 
scenes from the story of David 
are, top left, the Ark being car- 
ried up to Jerusalem (11 Sam. 6:1- 
15); right, Michal watches David 
dancing before the Ark (ibid., 
16); bottom left, David reproves 
Michal for her criticism of him 
(Ibid., 20-23); fight, the prophet 
Nathan assures David of the en- 
durance of his kingdom (11 Sam. 
16). London, British Museum, EG 
3277, fol 46V. 


SOMARY, FELIX (1881-1956), Austrian banker and econo- 
mist. Born in Vienna, Somary began his career with the Anglo- 
Austrian Bank under Charles *Morawitz. During World War 1 
he took part in the financial administration of the German- 
occupied part of Western Europe. From 1919 he was active as a 
banker in Zurich and later assisted in drafting the Young Plan 
designed to regulate German reparations to the Allied Powers. 
During World War 11 he was in the United States on behalf of 
the Swiss government and private interests. 

He published his autobiography Erinnerungen aus mei- 
nem Leben (1955, 1959 3 ). His many publications on interna- 
tional economics and finance include Bankpolitik (1915, 1934 3 ); 
Wandlungen der Weltwirtschaft seit dem Kriege (1929; Changes 
in the Structure of World Economics Since the War, 1931); Kri- 

senwende! (1933; End the Crisis! 1933). 

[Joachim O. Ronall] 

°SOMBART, WERNER (1863-1941), German political econ- 
omist and sociologist. Born in Ermsleben, Sombart acquired 
a reputation through his work Der Moderne Kapitalismus (2 

vols., 1902, 1916 2 ) in which he traced the development of cap- 
italism from the late Middle Ages. In 1917 he was appointed 
professor of political economy at the University of Berlin. He 
wrote two works on capitalism and the Jews: Die Juden und 
das Wirtschaftsleben (1911; The Jews and Modern Capitalism, 
1913, 1951), and Die Zukunft der Juden (1912) which aroused 
considerable controversy. In Sombart s view, the Jews were the 
principal cause of the disruption of the medieval economic 
system and its replacement by capitalism. The Jews, he held, 
were foreigners and came up against the hostility of the guilds 
which controlled the commerce of the medieval cities. Con- 
sequently they sought to break away from the restrictive eco- 
nomic framework of city life and, by doing so, became the 
pioneers of international trade. In this way they helped to lay 
the foundation of the capitalist system. Sombart maintained 
that the Jewish intellect, "concrete, stubborn, and systematic," 
was ideally suited to fostering a capitalist economy: "When 
Israel appears upon the face of Europe, the place where it ap- 
pears comes to life; and when it departs, everything which had 
previously flourished withers away." Such statements made for 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


the ambivalent reception of Sombart s work among Jews at the 
time. Thus, while liberal Jews strongly criticized Sombart as 
an antisemite, others, particularly in the Zionist camp, praised 
him as a nonpartisan researcher and held up his theses as evi- 
dence of Jewish perseverance and as acknowledgement of the 
special contribution of the Jews. 

Although it has been generally accepted that Jews played 
an important part in the early development of capitalism, 
Sombart s theories were generally considered to be wildly ex- 
aggerated. They provided Nazi Germany with considerable 
material for antisemitic propaganda, since he stressed the in- 
compatibility of Jewish commercialism with the spirit of the 
"nordic farmer," and in Deutscher Sozialismus (1934) favored 
the Nazi policy of excluding Jews from German economic 
and cultural life. 

In 1911, David Ben-Gurion translated Sombart's Sozi- 
alismus und Soziale Bewegung im xix Jahrhundert into He- 
brew. A Hebrew translation of Sombart's Die Juden und das 
Wirtschaftsleben was published in 1912 in Kiev by a group of 
young Zionists. 

bibliography: Ziegler, in: azdj, 75 (1911), 271-2; I. Taglicht, 
Juden und Judentum in der Darstellung Werner Sombarts (1911); J. 
Henningsen, Professor Sombarts Forschungsergebnisse zur Juden- 
frage (1913 3 ); H. Watjen, Das Judentum und die Anfaenge der moder- 
nen Kolonisation; Kritische Bemerkungen zu Werner Sombarts "Die 
Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben" (1914); A. Philipp, Die Juden und 
das Wirtschaftsleben; Eine antikritisch-bibliographische Studie (1929). 
add. bibliography: A. Mitzman, Sociology and Estrangement .. . 
(1973); F. Raphael, Judaisme et capitalisme .. . (1982); M. Appel, Werner 
Sombart ... (1992); F. Lenger, Werner Sombart 1863-1941... (1995); J. 
Backhaus, Werner Sombart (1863-1941) (2000). 

SOMBOR (Hung. Zombor), city in N.W. Yugoslavia, in the 
district of Backa, province of Vojvodina; part of the Austro- 
Hungarian Empire until 1918. The first (registered) Jewish 
families came to settle in the mid-i8 th century. By the mid- 
dle of the 19 th century, a Jewish school existed where teach- 
ing was done in Hebrew and Yiddish, the use of the latter 
language eventually being objected to by the authorities and 
prohibited. The first synagogue in Sombor was erected in 1825 
and the second in 1865. Among the founders of the kehillah 
was Jacob Stein. Conservative in doctrine, its first rabbi 
was David Kohn (d. 1884). By the end of the 19 th century 
there were 200 Jewish taxpayers, and 650 Jews out of a total 
population of 25,000. The community had a bikkur holim 
society and during the century the town and its kehillah 
grew considerably. In 1910 there were 1,000 Jews out of a pop- 
ulation of 35,000, and by 1940 there were 1,200 out of 45,000 
inhabitants in the city. A talmud torah was founded in 1925. 
In the 1920s and 1930s various youth and Zionist organiza- 
tions opened chapters in Sombor. The last rabbi before the 
Holocaust was Michael Fischer. Like other places in Vojvo- 
dina, the Hungaro- German occupation resulted in the exter- 
mination of this once active Jewish community. The last Jews 
were sent to Auschwitz via Backa Topola on April 5, 1944. 
In 1953 a monument to the victims of the Holocaust was 

erected. The synagogue was used by a local commercial en- 

bibliography: S. Guttman, A szombori zsidok tortenete 

(1928); Magyar Zsido Lexikon (1929), s.v. Zombor; L. Fischer, in: 

Jevrejski Almanah..., 4 (1928/29), 76. add. bibliography: Z. 

Loker (ed.), Yehudei Vojvodina be-Et he-Hadashah (1994), with Eng. 


[Zvi Loker] 

SOMECK, RONNY (1951- ), Hebrew poet. Someck was 
born in Baghdad, Iraq, and came to Israel as a child. He stud- 
ied Hebrew literature and philosophy at Tel Aviv University 
and sketching at the Avni Art Institute. He worked as a coun- 
selor with street gangs, taught literature, and led writing work- 
shops. Someck began publishing poetry in 1968 and published 
his first collection, Goleh ("Exile"), in 1976. Other collections 
include Solo (1978), Asphalt (1984), Sheva Shurot al Pele ha- 
Yarkon ("Seven Lines on the Wonder of the Yarkon River"), 
Panter (1989), Bloody Mary (1994), Gan Eden le-Orez ("Rice 
Paradise," 1996). The bustling life and alienating effect of the 
modern city, primarily Tel Aviv, figures prominently in his 
poetry, which addresses collective Israeli concerns, the ethnic 
issue as well as private experience. In 1997 Someck recorded 
with the musician Elliot Sharp the cd Revenge of the Stuttering 
Child. In 1998, together with artist Benny Efrat, Someck pre- 
sented the exhibition "Nature's Factory" at the Israel Museum. 
With Shirley Someck he wrote a book for children, Kaftor ha- 
Zehok ("The Laughter Button," 1998). Somecks ninth poetry 
collection, Mahteret ha-Halav ("The Milk Underground"), ap- 
peared in 2005. He received the acum special Jubilee Prize, 
and in 2004 was awarded the Yehuda Amichai Prize. A collec- 
tion of Selected Poems appeared in English translation (1999) 
as well as The Fire Stays in Red (2002). 

bibliography: G. Moked, iC Al Sheloshah Meshorerim Ze'irim 
(Someck, Bachar, Perez Banai)" in: Yedioth Aharonoth (November 
16, 1979); O. Bartana, Teritoriyyiah Hadashah ve-Efsharuyotehah, in: 
Yedioth Aharonoth (December 26, 1980); A. Barkai, in: Al ha-Mish- 
mar (February 27, 1981); A. Balaban, Erez Tel Aviv, in: Yedioth Aha- 
ronoth (January 30, 1981); T. Avgar, Bein Gimgum le-Mahapekhanut 
Kevuyah, in: Moznayim, 52:1 (1981), 61-62; Y. Mazor, Al Tomru Lanu 
Shalom, in: Iton 77, 183 (1995), 18-23; Y. Ben David, "Shirah - Be-Mil- 
lim shel Sedot Teufah" in: Ahavah mi-Mabat Sheni (1997), 206-9; 
Y Mazor, "The Silky Vigor of the Boxing Glove: R. Someck in the 
Arena of Contemporary Hebrew Poetry," in: World Literature Today, 
72:3 (1998), 501-6; M. Forcano, jR. Someck, musica d'Um Kultzum a 
Tel Aviv, in: Tamid, 2 (1998-99), 205-8; S. Dayyan and R. Yagil, in: 

Maariv (April 29, 2005). 

[Anat Feinberg (2 nd ed.)] 

rabbi and posek of Baghdad. Abdallah was born in ^Baghdad 
and was a pupil of Jacob b. Joseph ha-Rofe. At first he en- 
gaged in business, acquiring considerable wealth. When he 
perceived that the study of Torah was being neglected, how- 
ever, he abandoned his business and devoted himself to the 
dissemination of learning. He founded the bet midrash Abu 
Menashe which was established with funds provided by the 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


philanthropist Ezekiel b. Reuben Manasseh, after whom it was 
named. In 1840 he founded, with the help of the same phi- 
lanthropist, the renowned Midrash Bet Zilkhah. He died in 
a plague that swept through Baghdad, and was buried there, 
against the orders of the government, in the court of the tradi- 
tional tomb of the high priest Joshua. This caused an outbreak 
of riots, in consequence of which rabbis and communal lead- 
ers were imprisoned. After three months, Somekh's body had 
to be exhumed and buried in another cemetery. 

Somekh was regarded as the supreme halakhic authority 
by communities of Baghdadi origin throughout the Far East. 
He was the author of Zivhei Zedek (2 pts., 1899), halakhic de- 
cisions on the Yoreh Deah with appended responsa. In man- 
uscript are two more parts of the same work; Ez ha-Sadeh on 
the tractate Bezah; novellae on most tractates of the Talmud; 
a commentary on the Passover Haggadah; Hazon la-Moed, on 
the calendar; and responsa. 

bibliography: A. Ben-Yaacob, Toledot ha-Rav Abdallah 
Somekh (1949); idem, Yehudei Bavel (1965), index. 

[Abraham Ben-Yaacob] 

SOMEKH, SASSON (1933- ), professor emeritus of Arabic 
literature at Tel Aviv University. Born in Baghdad, he immi- 
grated to Israel and specialized in modern Arabic literature 
and Semitic philology. Research, editing, and translating 
characterized his academic career, along with lecturing in 
Israeli, Swedish, and U.S. universities. Among his books are 
The Changing Rhythm (1973), a monograph on the Egyptian 
novelist Naguib Mahfuz; Genre and Language in Modern Ar- 
abic Literature (1991); three books (in Arabic) on the novelist 
Yusuf Idris; four anthologies of modern Arabic poetry, trans- 
lated into Hebrew; and an autobiography (in Hebrew), Bagh- 
dad Yesterday (2004). He was awarded the Israel Prize in Ori- 
ental Studies in 2005. 

SOMEN, ISRAEL (1903-1984), public figure in Kenya. Born 
in London, Somen was taken to South Africa when he was a 
child, and in 1923 went to Kenya where he joined the colonial 
service. Somen was mayor of Nairobi from 1955 to 1957 and 
honorary consul for Israel before Kenya's independence. He 
was also president of the Nairobi Hebrew congregation. 

SOMLYO, ZOLTAN (1882-1937), Hungarian poet. Tried 
to earn his livelihood by writing and had a lifelong struggle 
against poverty. His lyric poetry is founded on the feeling of 
love and the Jewish feeling of loneliness. He wrote Az dtkozott 
kolto ("The accursed poet," 1911). 

SOMMER, EMIL (1869-1947), Austrian soldier. Born in 
Dorna Watra/ Vatra Dornei, Bukovina, Sommer was one of 
the top graduates from the cadets' school and served on the 
general staff. During World War 1 he commanded a regiment 
and was highly respected. In 1923 he retired as a full colonel 
and later received the brevet rank of major general. Sommer 
was head of the Austrian Jewish War Veterans (Bund jue- 

discher Frontsoldaten Oesterreichs) until the organization 
split over his strong monarchist views in March 1934. He and 
his supporters founded a monarchist-oriented War Veterans 
Organization (Legitimistische Juedische Frontkaempfer). Fol- 
lowing the Anschluss newspapers reported that he was forced 
to sweep the streets in his general's uniform with all his deco- 
rations. This false report was a pure invention; he was, how- 
ever, arrested. In 1942 he and his wife, Anna, nee Mittler, were 
deported to Theresienstadt. He managed to survive and after 
the liberation returned to Vienna. Sommer immigrated to the 
United States, where he died. 

add. bibliography: E.A. Schmidl, Juden in der K. (u.) 
K. Armee 1788-1918 (1989), 148; The National Jewish Monthly (Nov. 
1946), 90-91. 

[Mordechai Kaplan / Albert Lichtblau (2 nd ed.)] 

SOMMERSTEIN, EMIL (1883-1957), Zionist leader in Gali- 
cia and Polish Jewish leader. Born in the village of Hleszczawa 
in the district of Tarnopol, Galicia, Sommerstein practiced 
law in Lvov. His Zionist activities began during his student 
years, when he founded the Zionist Students' League in Galicia 
(1906). He later played a leading role in the Galician Zionist 
Federation, of which he became chairman. He was a member 
of the Polish Sejm from 1922 until 1939 (with a break from 
1927-29). He was active in several Jewish institutions and or- 
ganizations, especially economic ones. Due to him, the Jew- 
ish Academic House, the first of its kind in Europe, was es- 
tablished in Lvov in 1910. He specialized in economic and 
financial law and published several books on these subjects 
in Polish (1924-28). Sommerstein took part in the establish- 
ment of the * World Jewish Congress. At the end of Septem- 
ber 1939, with the entry of the Soviet army into Lvov, he was 
arrested and taken to Kiev. He was transferred from prison 
to prison until he was liberated at the beginning of 1944 in a 
general amnesty. 

In spring 1944 Sommerstein was invited by the Soviet 
authorities to represent Polish Jewry in Moscow and was 
even received by Stalin. Together with the Soviet- sponsored 
Association of Polish Patriots, he followed in the wake of the 
Soviet army's advance into Polish territory. He was co-opted 
onto the Polish Committee for National Liberation, which was 
established in Chelm in July 1944 and became the provisional 
government of liberated Poland. He moved to Lublin with 
the government and then to Warsaw (February 1945). Som- 
merstein was among the founding members of the Central 
Committee of Polish Jewry and also served as its president. 
He played an important role in arranging for the repatriation 
of 140,000 Polish Jewish refugees from the Soviet Union. He 
was a member of the editorial board of the central Jewish or- 
gan, Dos Naye Lebn y which commenced publication in liber- 
ated Poland. In April 1946 he headed a delegation of Polish 
Jews to the U.S., where he suffered from a paralytic disease 
from which he never recovered. He died in New York and his 
remains were taken to Israel and buried in Tel Aviv (See also 
^Poland, Contemporary). 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



bibliography: N.M. Gelber, Toledot ha-Tenuah ha-Ziyyonit 
be-Galizyah, 2 vols. (1958), index; ajyb, 59 (1958), 477. 

[Nathan Eck] 

Leone De Sommi Portaleone, Leone di Somi, Leone Ebreo 
de Somi, Leone de' Sommo Portaleone, Yehuda Sommo; 

1527-1592), dramatist, theater director, and poet in Hebrew 
and Italian. An outstanding contributor to the development 
of the theater during the Renaissance, Sommo, born in Man- 
tua, was a descendant of the aristocratic * Portaleone family. 
He was educated in the spirit of the Renaissance in general 
and in Jewish subjects by Rabbi David b. Abraham ^Provencal 
who planned to found a Jewish academy of sciences at Man- 
tua. Provencal, however, opposed Jewish participation in the 
theater. In his youth Sommo served as tutor and copier and 
invented a method for manufacturing ink, which is mentioned 
in Shiltei ha-Gibborim (Mantua, 1612), authored by his relative 
Abraham Portaleone. At the age of 23 he wrote a five-act prose 
play, Zahut Bedihuta de-Kiddushin ("An Eloquent Marriage 
Farce"), which is the oldest Hebrew *drama extant. In 1557 he 
participated in a satirical literary competition on the subject 
of women, in their praise or censure. He submitted a long 
macaronic poem, Magen Nashin ("In Defense of Women"), 
with alternate stanzas in Hebrew and Italian, which he dedi- 
cated to Anna *Rieti. 

Sommo seems to have been active from an early age in 
writing and staging plays for the Gonzaga court theater where 
European dignitaries were often in attendance. Each year the 
Jewish community of Mantua was obliged to present a play 
before the duke; Sommo was placed in charge of these per- 
formances. In 1565 he submitted to Cesare Gonzaga, patron 
of the literary school Accademia degP Invaghiti ("Academy 
of the Lovesick"), Dialoghi in materia di rappresentazioni sce- 
niche ("Dialogues on the Art of the Stage" ed. F. Marotti, Mi- 
lan, 1969). In recognition of this work Sommo was admitted 
a year later as the only Jewish scrittore ("writer") in the acad- 
emy. He ultimately became renowned throughout Europe as 
a dramatist and director, as well as an expert in stage design, 
make-up, and lighting effects. Sommo pioneered in the use 
of lighting by placing torches around the hall or on the stage. 
The torches were brightened or dimmed at appropriate times 
to heighten the emotional atmosphere of the play. The famous 
playwright Manfredi insisted that Sommo was the only direc- 
tor capable of staging his Semiramis. He befriended many fa- 
mous actors and actresses who came to Mantua. 

Although Sommo reached the height of fame in Euro- 
pean theater, he did not neglect his activities in the Jewish 
community. In 1574 he aided Azariah dei * Rossi in publishing 
his controversial book Mebr Einayim. Like other famous Jew- 
ish artists and performers granted similar privileges, Sommo 
was exempted in 1580 from wearing the yellow *badge re- 
quired of the Jews. In 1585 he was allowed to buy property in 
Mantua upon which he built a synagogue. In the same year 
Sommo was involved in an unsuccessful attempt to have the 

duke of Mantua crowned king of Poland after the former king 
died leaving no male heir. In 1588 he submitted to the first 
duke of Vincenzo a prose comedy, Le tre sorelle ("The Three 
Sisters," ed. F. Marotti, Milan, 1970). 

Sommo's literary output, which remained in manuscript 
until the 20 th century, comprised 16 volumes. Those works 
composed in Italian included 13 plays (comedies in prose 
and rhyme, pastorales, intermezzos), the Dialoghi in mate- 
ria di rappresentazioni Sceniche, 45 Salmi Davidici ("Psalms 
of David"), poems, canzones, and satires. However, 11 of 
the Italian volumes, stored in the National Library of Tu- 
rin, were destroyed by a fire in 1904. Only Le tre sorelle y the 
rhymed pastorale L'Hirifile> and a few Italian poems survived. 
Numbered among his Hebrew works are the first Hebrew play 
(four copies), two short dialogues (one of which, Shetei Sihot 
Tinok Omenet ve-Horim, is the earliest piece of ^children's 
literature in Hebrew), and several poems. J. *Schirmann 
discovered Zahut Bedihuta de-Kiddushin in 1930 and it was 
subsequently printed for the first time in 1946, some 400 
years after it was written. In 1937, Dialogues on the Art of the 
Stage first appeared in print in A. Nicolls English translation 
and in 1969 it was first printed, together with Le tre sorelle y 
in Italian. 

Sommo's greatest works are the Dialoghi and his Hebrew 
comedy of betrothal. The Dialoghi y among the most valuable 
discussions on Renaissance theater, are written in a lively and 
humorous style. Four in number, the Dialoghi are conducted 
by Veridico, a Jewish embroiderer of Mantua who directs per- 
formances at the ducal court, like Sommo himself, and two 
Italian devotees of the theater. Veridico tells his friends how 
he selects, rehearses, and readies a play for performance. Som- 
mo's writings, although echoing the style of Aristotle and Hor- 
ace who were very popular in Italy at that time, ventures the 
original opinion that it was the Jews who contributed drama 
to world literature. He maintains that the Book of Job, whose 
authorship Jewish tradition ascribes to Moses, was the first 
drama in history and influenced Plato to write in dialogue 
form, which, in turn, inspired the Greek dramatists. In the 
second dialogue Sommo asserts that dramatists divide their 
plays into five acts and limit the number of actors appearing 
on the stage at any time to five in order to correspond to the 
number of books in the Pentateuch. To prove the antiquity 
of Jewish drama he cites the Aramaic dramatic allegory "The 
Current of Life" ("Corso della Vita") y and traces the origin of 
the Italian word scena ("scene") to the Hebrew shekhunah 
("street" or "neighborhood"). Much of interest is to be found 
in his detailed discussion of various aspects of theatrical pro- 
duction (acting, costuming, makeup, and lighting); his advice 
on the method of acting resembles Hamlet's monologue on 
the same theme. 

Written mainly in biblical Hebrew, Zahut Bedihuta de- 
Kiddushin is cast into the characteristic style of Renaissance 
comedy. The heroes are based on the stock figures of comme- 
dia delVarte and the plot is taken from an aggadah of Midrash 
Tanhuma: a father on his deathbed bequeaths all his property 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


to his slave, leaving to his only son, who is abroad, the right to 
choose only one article from the estate as his own. The plan 
is based on the assumption that the son, upon his return, will 
choose the slave and thus, since a master automatically ac- 
quires all that belongs to his slave, he will obtain the whole 
estate. Until the sons return the inheritance will be safely 
guarded by the slave. However, the parents of the son's fiancee, 
believing that their intended son-in-law has been disinherited, 
cancel the engagement. The youth then plans to seduce his 
beloved in a vineyard and marry her by nissuei bi'ah ("mar- 
riage by intercourse"). In the finale, Rabbi Amittai ("speaker 
of truth," the counterpart of Veridico in the Dialoghi) solves 
the predicament and the youth regains both his fiancee and his 
inheritance. The comedy was designed not only to amuse the 
audience but also to criticize contemporary Jewish behavior 
in matters of betrothal and marriage and to demonstrate the 
literary potential of Hebrew. The play was apparently staged 
in Sommo's lifetime and later during the 17 th century in Italy. 
It was produced for the first time in Israel in 1963 by a Hebrew 
University troupe and in 1968 by the Haifa Theater, which per- 
formed it two years later at the Venice Festival. 

bibliography: J. Schirmann (ed.), Zahut Bedihuta de-Kid- 
dushin (1965 2 ), 173-6 (bibliography); A. Nicoll, The Development of the 
Theatre (1966 5 ), 253 (bibl.); A. Holtz, in: Tarbiz, 36 (1967); I. Gour, in: 
Bamah, 31 (1967), 14-25; Judah Leone ben Isaac Sommo, Dialoghi in 
materia di rappresentazioni sceniche (1969); idem, Le tre sorelle (1970). 
add. bibliography: D. Namery, in: husl, 9:2 (1981), 147-74; 
Tre sorelle: comedia, ed. G. Romeo (1982); A Comedy of Betrothal = 
Tsahoth Bdihutha D'Kiddushin, transl. A.S. Golding (1988); The Three 
Sisters: Le tre sorelle, transl. D. Beecher and M. Ciavolella (1988); W.S. 
Botuck, Leone de'Sommi: Jewish Participation in Italian Renaissance 
Theatre (1991); Y. David, in: rmi, 61:1-2 (1995), 119-128; J. Guinsburg, 
in: Iberia Judaica (1996), 307-15; A. Belkin (ed.), Leone de'Sommi and 
the Performing Arts (1997); K. Werchowsky, in: reeh, 5 (2001), 171-81; 
A.L. Benharrosh, in: Cahiers du Judai'sme, 14 (2003), 25-43. 

[Dan Almagor] 

SOMOGYI, BELA (1868-1920), Hungarian political journal- 
ist. Born in Halasto, he taught in secondary schools and edited 
the social-democrat organ Nepszava, as well as the German 
language organ Volksstimme. After the October Revolution 
(1918), he became director- general of the Ministry of Educa- 
tion. Under the brief Communist regime, he resigned. Nev- 
ertheless, when Somogyi protested against the murders of 
the White Terror (see * Hungary), he was kidnapped and with 
his companion, a non- Jewish author, B. Bacso, murdered and 
his body thrown into the Danube. Somogyi wrote A francia 
nepoktatds (1905) and Az ipari szovetkezetek (1905). 

bibliography: Magyar Zsido Lexikon (1929), 796; Magyar 

Irodalmi Lexikon, 3 (1965), 77. 

[Baruch Yaron] 

§OMREI SABAT, Christian sect in * Transylvania; though 
chronologically the latest, it was the most extreme faction in 
the Reformation in Hungary. Founded in the 1580s in central 
Transylvania, the sect had distinct anti-Trinitarian trends. 

During its long history the sect passed from denial of the Trin- 
ity to rejection of the New Testament until it approached very 
close to Judaism. The inhabitants of the Transylvanian village 
*Bezidul Nou, the majority of whom were adherents of the 
sect, converted to Judaism in 1868-69, an d their descendants 
were completely absorbed in Judaism. 

Ideologically, the history of the sect, which in 1971 still 
had a small number of followers in Transylvania, may be di- 
vided into two periods. In the first period, on the instructions 
of the sect's founder, the Transylvanian nobleman Andras 
Eossi (d. c. 1602), the §omrei Sabat almost completely aban- 
doned the principles of Christianity, though they still recog- 
nized Jesus as the messiah to reappear. But by that time, in 
religious as well as everyday life, they behaved according to 
the biblical precepts, observing "the Jewish Sabbath" as the 
day of rest instead of Sunday, and celebrating Jewish festivals 
according to the Jewish calendar: Passover, the New Moon, 
etc. In that early period the prayer rite of the sect was already 
influenced by Jewish liturgy. The §omrei Sabat also refrained 
from eating ritually unclean food. 

The second period, beginning in 1630, was marked by 
the outstanding personality of Simon *Pechi (c. 1575-1642), 
the adopted son of Eossi. A scholar with a command of the 
classical languages as well as Hebrew, Pechi performed im- 
portant functions in the political administration of indepen- 
dent Transylvania and was chancellor at the princely courts. 
In 1621 Pechi was dismissed from all his posts, probably in 
connection with his religious views. Thereafter he devoted 
himself to the organization and development of the §omrei 
Sabat sect and also became involved in clandestine activities. 
In this period the sect deviated even more from Christianity 
and came conspicuously close to Judaism. The leader of the 
sect as well as his disciples translated into Hungarian many 
Hebrew prayers of the Sephardi rite. At that time the §omrei 
Sabat based themselves only on the Old Testament, observing 
the Jewish precepts and completely rejecting the principles of 
Christianity. It is estimated that the membership of the sect 
was then about 20,000. 

In 1638, on instructions from the prince, the Transylva- 
nian authorities started to persecute the members of the sect 
and its leaders. Some emigrated to ^Turkey where several of 
them converted to Judaism. Those who had remained in Tran- 
sylvania were put on trial, their property was confiscated, and 
some were sentenced to death. The leader of the sect also be- 
came impoverished as a result of the confiscations and spent 
the last years of his life in his rural home under house arrest. 
As a result of the persecutions the membership of the sect 
greatly diminished. 

The spiritual leaders of the sect created a varied literature, 
including prayers, religious poems, etc., partly independent 
original literary creations but most of them showing Jewish in- 
fluence. The outstanding Hungarian author, Zsigmond Kemeny 
(1814-1875), gives a vivid description of the life of the sect, the 
persecutions, and the life of its leader, Pechi, in his historical 
novel A rajongok ("The Devoted"; first published in 1858). 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


bibliography: S. Kohn, A szombatosok (1889) = Die Sab- 

batharier in Siebenbuergen (1894); M. Guttmann and S. Harmos, 

Pechi Simon szombatos imddsdgos konyve (1914); A. Pirnat, Die Ide- 

ologie der Siebenbuerger Antitrinitarier (Budapest, 1961); B. Varjas, 

Szombatos enekek (1970). 

[Yehouda Marton] 

SONCINO, family of Hebrew printers active in Italy, Tur- 
key, and Egypt in the 15 th and 16 th centuries. The Soncino 
family originated in Germany and claimed among their an- 
cestors Moses of Speyer, mentioned in the tosafot by * Eliezer 
of Touques (13 th century). Five generations later another 
moses, resident at Fuerth, succeeded in driving the wander- 
ing Franciscan monk and rabble-rouser John of Capistrano 
(1386-1456) out of the town (see title page of David Kimhi's 
Mikhlol, Constantinople, 1532-34). His sons samuel and si- 
mon left Fuerth for Italy, where in 1454 they obtained per- 
mission from Francesco Sforza, duke of Milan, to settle in 
Soncino near Cremona, from which they took their surname. 
Samuel's son Israel nathan (d. 1492?), a physician, was 
renowned for his talmudic scholarship and piety; he died in 
Brescia. Printing had taken place in Italy from 1465, and it 
was, no doubt, under the influence of Israel Nathan and in 
partnership with him and his other sons (Benei Soncino) that 
his son joshua solomon (d. 1493) set up a Hebrew printing 
press which in 1484 produced its first book, the Talmud trac- 
tate Berakhoty with commentaries in the arrangement which 
became standard. This was followed by a complete, voweled 
Hebrew Bible (1488), the Mahzor Minhag Roma (Soncino and 
Casalmaggiore, i486), and 15 other works (to 1489). His were 
the first printed editions of the Hebrew Bible and Talmud 
tractates. From 1490 to 1492 Joshua Solomon printed at least 
nine works in Naples, and altogether more than 40 works are 
ascribed to his press. 

His nephew gershom ben moses (d. 1534), also called 
Menzlein - perhaps for having learned the art of printing in 
Mainz - became one of the most successful and prolific print- 
ers of his time - and one of the finest of all times - printing 
from 1489 to 1534, not only in Hebrew (and Judeo-German?), 
but also in Latin, Greek, and Italian and using for non-He- 
brew literature the names Hieronymus, Geronimo, or Gi- 
rolamo. During his extensive travels, to France in particular, 
he obtained valuable manuscripts for publication, e.g., the 
tosafot of Eliezer of Touques which he was the first to pub- 
lish. He was also the first to use woodcut illustrations in a He- 
brew work (Isaac ibn Sahula's Meshal ha-Kadmoni, Brescia, 
c. 1491), and to produce secular Hebrew literature (Immanuel 
of Rome's Mahberot, Brescia, 1492). Soncino also printed in 
small, pocket-size format, assembling an expert staff of liter- 
ary advisers, typesetters, and proofreaders. His letters were 
cut by Francesco Griffo da Bologna, who also worked for the 
well-known Aldus Manutius. 

Apart from Soncino and Casalmaggiore, Soncino also 
printed in Brescia, Barco, Fano, Pesaro, Ortona, Rimini, An- 
cona, and Cesena; both his Hebrew and non-Hebrew pro- 
ductions exceeded 100 volumes each, of which about 20 were 


Hebrew ^incunabula (before 1500). His constant wanderings 
were due as much to the chicaneries of the local overlords as 
to fierce and perhaps unfair competition, though in the de- 
cade 1494-1504 (with an interval from 1499 to 1502) he was 
the world's only Hebrew printer. Eventually Soncino had to 
leave Italy for Turkey, where he continued to print in ^Salonika 
(1527) and ^Istanbul (from 1530), assisted by his son eliezer 
(d. 1547). Gershom Soncino exerted himself in bringing re- 
lief to the victims of the Spanish and Portuguese expulsions 
of 1492 and 1497. 

His brother solomon is mentioned as printer in only 
one work: Jacob b. Asher's Arbaah Turim (1490?), though he 
belonged no doubt to the collective Benei Soncino. His son 
moses printed a number of books in Salonika from 1521 to 
1527. Eliezer b. Gershom Soncino continued printing after his 
father's death, and after he died the press was taken over by his 
partner Moses b. Eliezer Parnas. His son gershom printed in 
Cairo, Egypt, in 1557, being the last of the known Soncino print- 
ers, joshua *soncino (d. 1569) of Istanbul was the author of 
a volume of responsaand novellae (Nahalah li-Yhoshua y 1531). 
It is believed that the Hebrew press in Prague, where printing 
began in 1512, was founded by the Soncino family. 

bibliography: A.M. Habermann, Ha-Madpisim Benei 
Soncino (1933); A. Yaari, in: ks, 13 (1936/37), 121-30; idem, Ha-De- 
fus ha-Ivri be-Kushta (1967), 21-22; D.W. Amram, Makers of Hebrew 
Books in Italy (1909), index; M. Marx (Hieronymus) in: huca, 7 
(1930), 427-50; C. Roth, Jews in the Renaissance (1959) index. 

[Abraham Meir Habermann] 

SONCINO, JOSHUA (d. 1569), rabbi and halakhic author- 
ity; a scion of the famous *Soncino family from Italy, some of 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


whose descendants settled in Turkey. Soncino was the rabbi of 
the Sephardi Great Synagogue (Sinagoga Mayor) in Constan- 
tinople. In one of his responsa he intimates that his Ashkenazi 
friends disapproved of his holding that post. He maintained 
contact with R. Isaac *Luria and R. Bezalel *Ashkenazi, and 
was a close friend of R. Moses *Almosnino. His responsa and 
his commentaries on the tractates Eruvin and Shevubt were 
published by his grandson R. Joshua b. Menahem Soncino, un- 
der the title Nahalah li-Yhoshua (Constantinople, 1731). One of 
his responsa can be found in Divrei Rivot by R. Isaac *Adarbi 
(Salonika, 1582, no. 60). He was asked by Dona Gracia *Nasi 
to render halakhic decisions on business matters (responsa 12, 
20). At the time of the proposed *Ancona boycott in 1556-57, 
which caused a great stir among Turkish Jews, Soncino origi- 
nally favored the proposals, but later took up an attitude of 
vehement opposition. As the representative of Italian Jews 
who had settled in Turkey, he was of the opinion that pres- 
sure on the city by Turkish Jewry would further imperil the 
situation of Ancona's Jews (responsa 39-40). He thought that 
the solution to the difficulties facing Italian Jewry lay in their 
migration to the East. 

bibliography: Rosanes, Togarmah, 2 (1937/38), 79fT.; C. 

Roth, The House of Nasi (1947), 134-74; I. Sonne, Mi-Paulus ha- 

Revi'i ad Pius ha-Hamishi (1954), 146-59; A. Yaari, Mehkerei Sefer 

(1958), 309-11. 

[Abraham David] 

EDISCHEN BUCHES, Jewish bibliophile society, founded 
in Berlin in 1924, and liquidated by order of the Nazi govern- 
ment of Prussia in 1937. 

The Society aimed at the typographic improvement of 
the Jewish and Hebrew book; 15 regular publications were 
primarily intended to introduce to the Jewish book-world 
suitable models to be imitated by the commercial produc- 
ers. The Society, therefore, commissioned all the different 
types of literary products likely to appear in print, such as 
scholarly works and periodicals, novels, short stories, plays, 
texts illustrated by modern artists, and reprints of interesting 
rare books. The texts were chosen from Jewish literature of 
all periods and languages. Leading master- printers selected 
the printing type, size, and paper of each individual publica- 
tion in order to design an external appearance in accordance 
with its contents. 

The most ambitious enterprise of the Society was the 
creation of a new Hebrew printing type, a task not attempted 
for many generations. The letters were designed by Markus 
Behmer, who based his work on the script used by Gershom 
*Kohen in his Haggadah, printed in 1527 in Prague. The 
"Behmer type" appeared for the first, and last, time in the Pen- 
tateuch printed for the Society in 1930-33 by E.W. Tieffenbach 
at his "Officina Serpentis" printing press in Berlin. 

The Society published Soncino Blaetter; Beitraege zur 
Kunde desjuedischen Buches y edited between 1925 and 1937 by 
Herrmann Meyer, the founder and honorary secretary of the 

Society. In addition, Mitteilungen der Soncino G es ells ch aft ap- 
peared between 1928 and 1932 with A. Horodisch as editor. 

bibliography: J. Rodenberg, Deutsche Bibliophilie in drei 
Jahrzehnten (1931), 199-210; F. Homeyer, Deutsche Juden als Bibli- 
ophilen und Antiquare (1963), 67-69; 128-34. add. bibliogra- 
phy: A. Horodisch, in: Bibliotheca docet: Festgabefuer Carl Wehmer 
(1963), 181-208; idem, in: Imprimatur Neue Folge 8 (1976), 243-54; M. 
Brenner, The Renaissance of Jewish Culture... (1996) 173-77. 

[Herrmann M.Z. Meyer] 

SONDERKOMMANDO, JEWISH. In May 1942, in the 
framework of the clandestine plan known as the "Final So- 
lution of the Jewish Question," the mass -annihilation of the 
European Jewry began in the biggest extermination camp - 
Auschwitz- Birkenau. The killing process, which was charac- 
terized by its technical and industrial methods, was executed 
in the form of a production line run by ss personnel. Staff 
members were rewarded for their murderous activities with 
special rations, additional vacation, and a personal promo- 

To operate the crematoria and remove all traces of their 
crimes, the ss selected prisoners for a special squad shortly 
after their arrival without knowing the real aim of the work. 
For practical and ideological reasons the ss selected for this 
purpose mostly Jews, who from the middle of 1942 were the 
majority of the new prisoners coming to the camp. Ideologi- 
cally, this was one the Germans' crudest ways to humiliate the 
Jews and stamp them as sub-humans ("Untermenschen"). The 
inevitable death of these prisoners was a continuation of their 
spiritual death, which occurred during their horrible work in 
the death installations. The squad of prisoners thus symbol- 
ized the double death of the Jews: the mental and the physical. 
Another reason for choosing Jews for this squad could have 
been the desire to blur the distinction between the criminals 
and their victims, and to forcibly involve Jewish slave laborers 
in the process of mass killing and impose on them the onus 
of crimes committed solely by the Germans. 

The ss euphemistically called these Jewish prisoners 
"Sonderkommando? "special squad." The members of the 
squad were given several privileges, which helped those who 
remained the professional core of the Sonderkommando sur- 
vive. These prisoners got better food, improved living condi- 
tions, medical treatment from their own doctors, and from 
1944 exemption from bodily punishment. They were always 
kept in isolated barracks, guarded day and night, and were not 
allowed to contact other prisoners. By giving them privileges, 
the administration of the camp achieved an additional moral 
separation of the Sonderkommando members from the other 
prisoners, who tended to accuse them of being collaborators. 
As a matter of fact these miserable and abused Sonderkom- 
mando prisoners had no choice at all. Anyone who refused to 
obey the orders or claimed that he was incapable of working 
was immediately shot by the ss. 

The members of the Sonderkommando were orga- 
nized in a hierarchic structure. At the base were the major- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



ity of ordinary workers. A few were "functionaries," e.g., the 
"Vorarbeiter" (foreman) and "Kapo" (head of work unit). The 
"Oberkapo" (head Kapo) and the "Blockaelteste" (head of the 
barrack) stood at the top of the Sonderkommando hierarchy. 
Orders, however, always came from the ss men, and through 
the functionaries were delivered to all members of the unit. 
The first Sonderkommando started to work in May 1942, in the 
old crematorium in the main camp (Stammlager- Auschwitz), 
as well as in the provisional gas chambers on the outskirts of 
the Birkenau camp. Parallel to this there operated from Au- 
gust 1942 the so-called "Krematorium-Kommando" in the 
main camp. 

Between March and July 1943 four multifunctional cre- 
matoria were put into action in Birkenau. The work in the 
old crematorium at the main camp was stopped completely 
in July 1943. From May 1942 to January 1945 about 2,200 pris- 
oners were recruited into the Sonderkommando. The number 
of members depended on the killing potential and the policy 
of extermination, as decided by the camp administration. The 
number at any one time ranged from 100 to 874 men. 

As so-called "secret bearers," these direct witnesses to the 
genocide of the Jewish people were doomed to death by the 
ss and were usually murdered after the completion of the big- 
ger killing actions, on December 9, 1942; February 24, 1944; 
December 23, 1944; October 7, 1944; and November 26, 1944. 
As it was desired that the skilled and experienced workers 
in the commando should stay alive until the end, there was 
only one complete liquidation of the whole squad, on De- 
cember 9, 1942. 

The members of the commando were forced by their tor- 
mentors to welcome the Jews who were entering the dressing 
room, to calm them, to carry those who were not able to go 
to the gas chambers by themselves, to ensure a quick undress- 
ing process and fast movement into the gas chambers. After 
the killing by gas the prisoners were obliged to evacuate and 
clean the gas chambers, to inspect the bodies of the victims 
for valuables, to cut their hair (mainly women's hair), to clean 
hair earmarked for industrial uses, to pull out gold teeth, and 
to remove prostheses. Subsequently, the prisoners were forced 
to burn the bodies of those murdered in the crematoria ovens 
or in the burning pits, to crush the remaining bones, and to 
spread the ashes. In the dressing room they were forced to col- 
lect all the belongings of the victims and to prepare these for 
dispatch by train. In the case of killing by shooting, they were 
obliged to distract the victims and hold them by force. 

The total hopelessness and overwhelming helplessness 
in this extreme situation paralyzed almost every form of re- 
sistance and created an atmosphere of apathy and a loss of 
moral values among some of the members. Nevertheless, 
and amazingly, the will to survive remained in the hearts of 
many prisoners in the squads, who even developed an opti- 
mistic attitude. 

Not only the contact with death was traumatic but 
also meeting the victims shortly before their deaths, includ- 
ing friends and relatives, not to mention the accusations by 

other prisoners. All this exacerbated the moral dilemma of 
Sonderkommando prisoners and their mental suffering. The 
prisoners found themselves in an extreme psychological situ- 
ation, full of self- contempt and self-reproach. As the sole eye- 
witnesses to the killing process, these prisoners were the last 
to have contact with the victims before they were murdered. 
For this reason, the Germans preferred to choose prisoners 
for the Sonderkommando who spoke the same language as the 
victims, especially before big killing actions. The members of 
the unit, in the age range from 16 to 54, came from 18 coun- 
tries altogether, mostly from Poland, Slovakia, France, Hol- 
land, Greece, Romania, and Hungary, and communicated in 
11 languages. Despite the common fate that awaited them, the 
society of the Sonderkommando members could not achieve 
complete solidarity, mainly because of differences in social 
and cultural backgrounds. 

Motivated by a historical conscience, several members 
of the Sonderkommando clandestinely wrote the history of 
the mass murder of the Jews and their own histories of the 
Sonderkommando. These manuscripts were buried in the 
grounds of Birkenau, discovered in part between February 
1945 and October 1980, and later published. 

Wishing to warn the still living Hungarian Jews be- 
fore their deportation to Auschwitz, the Sonderkommando 
men supplied the four Jewish prisoners Vrba, Wetzler, Rosin, 
and Mordowicz who escaped from Auschwitz successfully 
in spring 1944 with important information and evidence of 
the crimes committed in the camp. Unfortunately this infor- 
mation could not prevent the mass murder of the Hungar- 
ian Jews. 

With the completion of four new crematoria in Birkenau 
between March and July 1943, the living and working condi- 
tions of the Sonderkommando improved significantly. This en- 
abled the creation of an underground movement of prisoners 
within the Sonderkommando, which initially was part of the 
general underground movement in the camp. This movement 
planned a general armed uprising of prisoners. Because of ba- 
sic misunderstandings and incompatible interests, the general 
plan for an uprising was canceled, and only the Sonderkom- 
mando continued to plan an uprising of its own. The prepara- 
tions for such an action took place in the months of spring and 
summer 1944. During the preparation period, young Jewish 
female prisoners smuggled explosives from the Union Metall- 
werke for the use of the Sonderkommando fighters. Four of 
these women were publicly hanged on January 6, 1945. 

The uprising, an act of despair, was launched on Oc- 
tober 7, 1944, in an attempt to destroy the killing installa- 
tions, to avenge the crimes against the Jews committed in 
the camp, and to ensure that at least someone remained alive 
from the commando to bear witness to what had occurred 
in the camp. 

The uprising was crushed after few hours, ending in 
a bloodbath of 451 Sonderkommando prisoners who fell 
in the battle or were shot in retaliation. The fighters of the 
Sonderkommando succeeded in burning one of the crema- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


torium buildings (No. iv), killing three ss members, and 
wounding probably 12 others. After the uprising was crushed, 
the remaining prisoners of the commando were obliged to 
burn the bodies of their fallen comrades and destroy the re- 
maining crematorium buildings. 

By the end of October 1944, after the gas chambers in 
Auschwitz-Birkenau were used for the last time, more than 
1,100,000 Jews had already been murdered in the death factory 
of Auschwitz. The last surviving members of the commando 
left the camp on January 18, 1945. On the long death marches 
they were first deported to Mauthausen. 

Altogether, about 110 men of the Sonderkommando sur- 
vived the Shoah. Sixty years after the evacuation of Auschwitz 
18 former Sonderkommando prisoners were still alive, most of 
them in Israel and the United States. 

[Gideon Greif and Andreas Kilian (2 nd ed.)] 

SONDERLING, JACOB (1878-1964), rabbi. Sonderling was 
born in Lipine, Silesia. His mother was a descendant of the 
Yismah Moshe, the founder of Hungarian Hasidism. An ar- 
dent Zionist from youth, Sonderling was referred to as "my 
fighting rabbi" by Theodor Herzl. 

After studying at the University of Vienna and Breslau as 
well as at seminaries in Vienna, Breslau, and Berlin, Sonder- 
ling received his Ph.D. from the University of Tuebingen in 
1904. In 1908, he became rabbi of Hamburg's celebrated Isra- 
elitischer Temple Verein, the birthplace of Reform Judaism 
but in his congregation, the bastion of Reform Judaism, men 
and women sat separately. He was such an eloquent orator 
and prominent rabbi that the Hamburg synagogue offered 
him the position despite its well known anti- Zionism and his 
advocacy of Zionism. His tenure there was interrupted when, 
during World War 1, he served as a German Army chaplain 
on the staff of Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, who was 
later the president of Germany. He was the chief Jewish chap- 
lain on the German Eastern front and spent the war years in 
Russia, Poland, and Lithuania, where he ministered not only 
to German soldiers but to Eastern European Jews he encoun- 
tered. He looked like the embodiment of a rabbi, with a long 
beard and distinguished face that as he aged became ever 
more impressive. His picture appeared on postcards of the 
Kaisers Army. He was called "God's word on a horse." At the 
war's conclusion, he returned to his pulpit and remained until 
1923, when he immigrated to the United States. Within weeks 
of his arrival in the United States he was lecturing on Zionism 
and drawing large audiences to hear his passionate advocacy. 
He then held pulpits in Chicago, New York, and Providence, 
where he developed what his Los Angeles colleague called 
new approaches to an old tradition. Religion must appeal to 
the senses - all five senses - not only to the ear and to the 

Upon moving to Los Angeles in 1935, he founded the 
Center for Jewish Culture (Fairfax Temple). Where else but 
in Hollywood could one combine art and religion? While liv- 
ing and working in Los Angeles, he collaborated with many 

well-known musicians. He inspired Eric Zeisl to compose his 
requiem and Maria Jeritza to perform it. During World War 
11, he discovered that Arnold Schoenberg, then a refugee from 
Nazi Germany, needed some money, so he commissioned him 
to write the Kol Nidre service. He also worked with Ernst Toch 
in writing the text for "Cantata of the Bitter Herbs." In 1941, 
he commissioned Erich W Korngold to write the "Passover 
Psalm," Opus 30. 

Earlier in his career he inspired Freidrich *Adler (1878- 
1942), who died in Auschwitz and had been a member of his 
congregation, to make Jewish ceremonial objects. Adler was 
a master of applied art who worked with furniture, architec- 
ture, and functional ware. For the Cologne Werkbund of 1914, 
Adler designed a synagogue interior and To rah ornaments as 
well as an entire group of ceremonial objects for Sabbath and 
holiday home observances. The remaining part of that col- 
lection is the eternal light, which is in the collection of the 
Spertus Museum. The first piece of ceremonial art that Adler 
created was a seder plate of pewter and embossed and cut- 
out glass. Incorporated onto the seder plate is a lid that lifts 
up to hold the matzot y and when the lid is closed the cup of 
Elijah fits on top in the center of the plate. It is on loan to the 
Skirball Cultural Center from the family of Jacob Sonderling 
363 days a year and returned each year just in time for the 

His colleague, Hollywood Rabbi Max Nussbaum, com- 
mented that in Los Angeles Sonderling "initiated the Seder in 
drama and music and the dramatization of the Bible at Friday 
evening services. Basically, Sonderling himself was a fusion 
of religion and art." 

His colleagues considered him more a teacher of teach- 
ers, a rabbi of rabbis, and he held his own with some of the 
most dominant personalities in the Los Angeles rabbinate. 
He considered himself an Orthodox rabbi among the Re- 
form and a Reform rabbi among the Orthodox. Nussbaum 
said, "He represented the totality of our Jewish heritage at its 

bibliography: M. Nussbaum, "J ac °b Sonderling," in: Pro- 
ceedings of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (1965.); J. 
Sonderling, "Five Gates: Casual Notes for an Autobiography," in: 
American Jewish Archives (1964). 

[Michael Berenbaum (2 nd ed.)] 

SONDHEIM, STEPHEN (Joshua) (1930- ), U.S. composer 
and lyricist born in New York. His meeting with his neighbor 
Oscar *Hammerstein 11 in Pennsylvania (where he moved 
with his mother) led him to write lyrics for stage shows. Win- 
ning the Hutchinson Prize for music at Williams College en- 
abled him to study privately with Milton *Babbitt. Sondheim 
leapt to the forefront of Broadway lyricists while still in his 
twenties when he coauthored the songs (with Leonard *Bern- 
stein) for West Side Story (1957). He followed this hugely suc- 
cessful musical with another lyrical triumph, Jule Styne's Gypsy 
(1959), and then wrote both the music and lyrics for A Funny 
Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962). Company 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



(1970) revolutionized the art form, and Follies (1971) marked 
the start of Sondheims collaboration with Hal Prince. A Little 
Night Music (1973) contained his most popular song "Send in 
the Clowns," while Pacific Overtures (1976) broke new ground 
with its use of Japanese kabuki theater techniques. Sweeney 
Todd (1979) is his biggest work. In Sunday in the Park with 
George (1984), Sondheim, inspired by a painting by Seurat, 
conveyed his images of the pointillist style through use of 
musical minimalism. His later works include Into the Woods 
(1987), Assassins (1991), and Passion (1994), his most sym- 
phonic score. He also wrote film scores. Sondheims musical 
language, in which melody and harmony are closely argued, 
retains strong affinities with Ravel and ^Copland, while mak- 
ing sophisticated use of jazz and dance idioms; it is intensely 
personal. His use of counterpoint is the anchor which sepa- 
rates him from most of todays theatrical composers. Sond- 
heim is on the Council of the Dramatist Guild, having served 
as its president from 1973 to 1981. In 1983 he was elected to the 
American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was appointed the 
first Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford 
University (1990) and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center 
Honors (1993), a National Medal of Arts Award (1997), and 
the Praemium Imperiale, Japan's highest honor, for a life- 
time of artistic achievement (2000). In 2002 he received the 
ascap Richard Rodgers Award. Most of his scores have won 
Tony and New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards. "Sooner or 
Later" from Dick Tracy won an Academy Award, and Sunday 
in the Park with George was awarded the 1985 Pulitzer Prize 
for Drama. The Sondheim Review is a quarterly magazine 
dedicated to his works. Sondheim productions in translation 
have also spread to Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and 

bibliography: Grove Music Online; J. Gordon (ed.), Stephen 
Sondheim: A Casebook (1997); M. Secrest, Stephen Sondheim: A Life 
(1998); M. Gottfried, Sondheim (2000). 

[Jonathan Licht / Naama Ramot (2 nd ed.)] 

SONDHEIMER, FRANZ (1926-1981) organic chemist. Born 
in Stuttgart, Germany, he was educated at Highgate School, 
London (1940-43) before gaining his Ph.D. from Imperial Col- 
lege, London. He was a research fellow at Harvard University 
(1949-52) and associate director of research at Syntex s.a. in 
Mexico City (1952-56) before becoming head of the organic 
chemistry department of the Weizmann Institute (1956-64) 
and also Rebecca and Israel Sieff Professor of Organic Chem- 
istry (1960-64). During this period he retained his associa- 
tion with Syntex as vice president of research (1961-63). He 
returned to England as Royal Society Research Professor of 
Organic Chemistry, first at Cambridge University (1964-67), 
where he was also a Fellow of Churchill College, and from 
1967 at University College, London. Sondheimer's research 
concerned the total synthesis of many natural products and 
in particular steroid hormones and their analogues and novel 
macrocyclic compounds. His many awards included the Israel 
Prize in exact sciences (i960), election to the Royal Society of 

London (1967), and the American Chemical Society's Sigma 
Award for creative work in synthetic organic chemistry (1976). 
His other main interest was classical music. 

[Michael Denman (2 nd ed.)] 

SONG, ANGELIC. The song of praise which the angels sing 
to God is a common theme in the Jewish and Christian apoc- 
alyptic and mystic literature. In his vision Isaiah heard the 
seraphim uttering (Isa. 6:3) what later became known as the 
*Kedushah (in Greek Trishagion). The idea of the angels sing- 
ing in the heavenly spheres is very likely an old one; it is the 
counterpart of the song which the levites sing in the Temple 
(e.g., 1 Chron. 6:16-17). I n the apocalyptic literature the seer 
translated to heaven sees, among other things, the throne of 
God surrounded by angels singing their perpetual song to God 
(11 En. 39-40). This part of the vision may be called the mysti- 
cal core of the apocalyptic experience. The angelic song in the 
apocalyptic literature is generally a development of Isaiah 6:3 
and Ezekiel 3:12. The song of the angels is mentioned often in 
11 Enoch, where it is revealed to the seer (Version 11 23:2; cf. 
also Test. Patr., Levi 3:8). Particularly rich in its angelic doxolo- 
gies, or songs of praise, is the Jewish- Christian Book of Revela- 
tion. The Qumran sect had a highly developed angelic liturgy 
(see Strugnell, in: vt, Supplement, 7 (1959), 318-45). 

The heikhalot literature of the Jewish mystics of the tal- 
mudic period is replete with angelic songs. Even the throne of 
God sings a special song to God (Heikhalot Rabbati y 24-26). 
The angelic songs which the mystic hears are not short dox- 
ologies as in the apocalyptic writings, but long lyrical expres- 
sions of the divine holiness, appropriately called "numinous 
hymns" (R. Otto, The Idea of the Holy (1923), 34). There are sev- 
eral references to the angelic song in talmudic and midrashic 
literature. The two main ideas expressed there are: 

(a) the angels do not repeat their song (which is always 
that of Isa. 6:3 and Ezek. 3:12); when they have finished sing- 
ing it, they disappear; 

(b) there is a special order according to which the angels 
divide the song among themselves. 

There are also differences of opinion as to when the an- 
gels sing their song: during the day only (Lam. R. 3:23; Hul. 
91b); during the night, when Israel does not pray (Hag. 12b; 
Av. Zar. 3b); or during both day and night (ser 7:34). 

bibliography: H. Bietenhard, Die himmlische Welt im Ur- 
christentum Spaetjudentum (1951), i37ff. (incl. bibl.); G. Scholem, Jew- 
ish Gnosticism.. . (1965), 20-30; Van Unnik, in: Vigiliae Christianae, 5 
(1951), 204-48 (Eng.); Flusser, in: Abraham, Unser Vater... Festschrift 
Otto Michel (1963), 129-52. 

[Ithamar Gruenwald] 

SONG OF SONGS (Heb. tTTttfn Ttf), the book of the He- 
brew Bible which normally follows Job in the Hagiographa and 
precedes the Book of Ruth. It thus stands first among the Five 
Scrolls. In Protestant and Roman Catholic Bibles, the book fol- 
lows Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, in accord with Jewish (then 
later Christian) tradition that Solomon was the author of all 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


three, for the arrangement of the books in the Septuagint has 
continued to exert its influence on the Christian canon into 
modern times (see *Bible, Canon). The title is derived from 
the superscription, shir ha-shirim asher li-shelomo, usually un- 
derstood as "the best of Solomons songs," although Hebrew 
normally does not form superlatives this way. (Comparisons 
with "king of kings," or "slave of slaves," are irrelevant because 
these are superlative by function: a king who rules other kings 
(= emperor); a slave owned by another slave; see Tur- Sinai, 
354-55.) The book is also called the Song of Solomon or Can- 
ticles, the latter name being derived from the Latin transla- 
tion of the Hebrew title. Fragments of the Song were found 
at Qumran. 

The Character of the Song of Songs 

The Song of Songs is composed entirely of a series of lyric 
(Septuagint: asma) love songs which vary in length, often con- 
sisting of brief stanzas, in which two lovers express to one an- 
other, and occasionally to others, the delights and anguish of 
their mutual love. Bold imagery and striking hyperbole char- 
acterize the songs, producing extravagant expressions and in- 
congruous comparisons: 

I have compared thee, O my love, 

To a mare in Pharaohs chariots. 

Thy cheeks are comely with circlets, 

Thy neck with beads (1:9-10; on the mare see M.H. Pope, in 

basor, 200 (1970), 56-61). 

My beloved is unto me as a cluster of henna 

In the vineyards of En-Gedi (1:14). 

I am a rose of Sharon, 

A lily of the valleys (2:1). 

Several songs in chapters 4-7 exhibit qualities that distinguish 
them somewhat from the other poems in the book, for they 
lavishly praise the physical features of the two young lovers: 

The roundings of thy thighs are like the links of a chain, 

The work of the hands of a skilled workman. 

Thy navel is like a round goblet, 

Wherein no mingled wine is wanting; 

Thy belly is like a heap of wheat 

Set about with lilies. 

Thy two breasts are like two fawns 

That are twins of a gazelle (7:2^4). 

Because such poems belong to the same literary genre as a 
similar type of Arabic love poetry, they are called wasfs> after 
the Arabic technical term meaning "description." Such lyrical 
imagery and forthright expression are admittedly sensual and 
suggestive, but the poems are never coarse or vulgar. (Similar 
seductive language is employed by the married seductress of 
Prov. 7:16-17, but there it leads to a bitter end.) The composer 
has employed vivid imagery to set a mood and create an aura 
of emotion, which invites the hearers to participate and share 
his joy and delight. Such poetic finesse in part accounts for 
the timeless appeal and lasting popularity of these songs. The 
flickering flames of love that rise and fall throughout the book 
leap to a final crescendo in 8:6-7: 

Set me as the seal upon thy heart, 

As the seal upon thine arm; 

For love is strong as death, 

Jealousy is cruel as the grave; 

The flashes thereof are flashes of fire; 

A very flame of the Lord [or "mighty flame"], 

Many waters cannot quench love, 

Neither can the floods drown it. 

The Bible, because of its primary concern with religious 
themes, contains poetry which deals principally with sacred 
topics in hymns, laments, songs of praise and thanksgiving, 
etc. There are also a number of songs with a secular flavor 
and dealing with the more mundane affairs of life scattered 
through its pages, but the Song of Songs is unique in the Bible, 
for nowhere else within it can be found such a sustained paean 
to the warmth of love between man and woman. It is com- 
pletely occupied with that one theme. No morals are drawn; 
no prophetic preachments are made. Perhaps more than any 
other biblical book, the Song presents a picture of "gender 
mutuality" (Meyers). The female lover is given more lines to 
speak than the male, and the presence of the "daughters of 
Jerusalem" is most prominent. It is likely that several of the 
poems originated among women bards. 

A remarkable feature of the book is that God receives no 
mention, and theological concerns are never discussed. While 
the Book of Esther also fails to mention God, an unmistakable 
spirit of nationalism permeates its pages; but the Song lacks 
even this theme. Another unique feature of the book is the 
extended description of the woman's dreams (3:1-5; 5:1-6:3). 
These are the only biblical examples of dreams not followed 
by interpretation. 

While the Song of Songs appears unique in the Bible, it is 
quite at home in the literature of the Ancient Near East. Nu- 
merous texts recovered from both Egypt and Mesopotamia 
have brought to light the long history of love poetry in the an- 
cient world. Even the earliest civilization of ancient Mesopota- 
mia, that of Sumer, produced passionate love songs that reflect 
a remarkable similarity of expressions, implications, situations, 
and allusions to parts of the Song of Songs, even though the 
latter are "far superior to their stilted, repetitive, and relatively 
unemotional Sumerian forerunners" (S.N. Kramer, in Expedi- 
tioriy 5 (1962), 31; Cooper, 1970). Fox has demonstrated close 
parallels in Egyptian love songs, and Held has called attention 
to a dialogue between lovers in an Akkadian work of the Old 
Babylonian period. Still others have compared Greek love lyr- 
ics. Upon reflection it is only natural to expect that such songs 
existed in the culture of ancient Israel. Song, music, and dance, 
both sacred and secular, have been vehicles for expressing the 
deepest human emotions from time immemorial, and it is 
doubtful that the line dividing the one from the other was as 
clear to the ancients as it appears to moderns. 

The Song of Songs consists of only eight chapters num- 
bering 117 verses, yet in it occur 49 words peculiar to itself 
and an additional number of unusual words. The syntax of 
the Song is also marked by oddities. The vav consecutive of 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



biblical Hebrew is completely lacking; frequent incongruities 
exist, with masculine forms of verbs, pronouns and suffixes 
often appearing rather than the expected feminine forms; the 
personal pronoun is used pleonastically with finite verbs with 
no apparent emphatic connotations; the infinite absolute is 
never used and the infinitive construct only rarely; and what 
appears to be an Aramaic construction occurs at 3:7 (mittato 
she-li-ShelomOy literally, "his bed, Solomons"). 

The Song exhibits characteristic features of Hebrew *po- 
etry - parallelism, meter based on stress, repetitive patterns of 
structure, the use of chiasmus and ballast variants, assonance, 
and occasionally paranomasia. A variety of repetitive patterns 
may be found including a number with archaic features. 

The diverse features of the Song, which support the view 
that the work is a collection, are somewhat muted by the uni- 
formity of language, representing a late stage of biblical He- 
brew along with features that are regular in Aramaic and in 
later Mishnaic Hebrew. This uniformity is apparently the re- 
sult of linguistic leveling which was arrested by the final re- 
daction of the book, leaving it essentially as it now exists in 
the Masoretic Text. 

The Interpretation of the Song of Songs 

Despite its brevity, the Song of Songs has been the inspiration 
for more literature about itself than any other book of its size 
in the Bible. It holds a magnetic attraction for those who feel 
compelled to explain its inclusion in the Bible, its meaning, 
and the linguistic peculiarities in it. Near the close of the first 
century c.e., when the book had long been a part of the Jewish 
national literature, arguments against its inclusion among the 
books that were to be considered canonical were suppressed 
by no less an eminent and vociferous advocate than R. Akiva. 
The rabbis and the early Church Fathers quoted, paraphrased, 
and sermonized from it. In medieval Europe, Bernard of Clair- 
vaux produced 86 sermons extracted from its imagery. Still, 
despite the voluminous writings of Jewish and Christian ex- 
egetes, in the 17 th century the Westminster Assembly's anno- 
tations on the Song of Songs state, "It is not unknown to the 
learned, what the obscurity and darknesse of this Book hath 
ever been accounted, and what great variety of Interpreters, 
and Interpretations have indeavoured to clear it, but with so 
ill successe many times, that they have rather increased, then 
removed the cloud" (Annotations upon all the Books of the Old 
and New Testament (1951 2 )). Advances in biblical scholarship 
have been made since then, but scholars are still divided on 
such important matters as the unity of the book, its origin, its 
divisions, its purpose, the number and identity of its charac- 
ters, and its date. 

The Song as an Allegory 

The history of the interpretation of the Song of Songs neces- 
sarily begins with its interpretation as an allegory in which 
the love of God for His people was expressed. By this means a 
mystical message of comfort and hope could be derived from 
the text. The lover in the songs, operating under the guise of 
Solomon and the shepherd youth, was now recognized as the 

Lord God of Israel, and His beloved was the people Israel. 
Thus a literary product which seemed devoid of any apparent 
religious connotations was transformed into a vehicle for ex- 
pressing the very deepest kind of spiritual relationship existing 
between God and His people. (The development of Jewish al- 
legorization is generally traced to Greek influence. Though the 
term allegory is Greek in origin, the assumption of borrow- 
ing the method is gratuitous, however, for the germinal con- 
cepts and interpretative tendencies possessing the potential for 
allegorization existed in Jewish schools of thought and in 
the Bible. Noteworthy in this respect are for example the mar- 
ital images found in Hos. 2; Jer. 2:2; and Isa. 50:4-7.) The al- 
legorical view of the book had gained widespread currency 
among the rabbis by the first century c.e., and it was doubt- 
less the predominant view of the populace as well; there is 
evidence in the Mishnah, however, that the allegorical inter- 
pretation was not universally accepted. The Tosefta (Sanh. 
12:10) records the famous admonition of R. Akiva: "He who 
trills his voice in the chanting of the Song of Songs in the 
banquet-halls and makes it a secular song has no share in the 
world to come." 

It is difficult to determine with any degree of accuracy 
when the allegorization of the Song of Songs began, but the 
disturbing conditions imposed by Rome upon Jewish life in 
the first century c.e. were advantageous to its expansion. In 
light of this and of the unusual features of the work, there 
can be little wonder that arguments arose among the rabbis 
over the retention of the Song among the books that "defile 
the hands," that is, that were considered canonical. At the 
Council of Jabneh, c. 90 c.e., the matter was discussed, but 
we know little of the details. In any event, current scholarly 
opinion does not attribute authoritative canonization of bib- 
lical books to the Jabneh council. It is clear that the songs had 
an innate popular appeal, and they had been ascribed to King 
Solomon because of the several occurrences of his name in the 
text and the association of the references to a king with him. 
A generation after Jabneh, R. Akiva denied that there had ever 
been any controversy about the sacred character of the Song: 
"God forbid that it should be otherwise! No one in Israel ever 
disputed that the Song of Songs defiles the hands. For all the 
world is not worthy as the day on which the Song of Songs was 
given to Israel, for all the Writings are holy, but the Song of 
Songs is the Holy of Holies" (Yad 3:5; cf. Eduy. 5:3; Tosef., Yad 
2:14). R. Akivas defense of the work was most certainly based 
on the mystical allegorical interpretation, and it is significant 
that he had attained a certain fame as a mystic (Tosef, Hag. 
(ed. Lieberman), 2:3-4). According to another tradition the 
Song along with Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, the other "Solo- 
monic" works, though holy, had at first been kept out of the 
public curriculum (genuzim) but were made accessible to the 
public thanks to the exegesis of the men of the Great Assem- 
bly (adrn (ed. Schechter), 2; Zakovitch, 31). 

The mystical emphasis was in time displaced by histori- 
cal and eschatological allegories. The Targum interpreted the 
Song as an allegory of the history of Israel from the Exodus 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


to the age of the Messiah and the building of the Third Tem- 
ple. Allegory was an extension of a general interpretative ten- 
dency which sought to discover the supposed deeper mean- 
ing of the sacred texts with a consequent de-emphasis of the 
literal meaning. This permitted every generation to find con- 
solation, solace, and hope appropriate to its own time and 
circumstances. Later Jewish exegetes such as Saadiah Gaon, 
Rashi, Samuel b. Meir, and Abraham ibn Ezra found in the 
symbolism of the Song words of consolation and strength for 
their contemporaries. A particularly interesting interpretation 
advocated by a few medieval and later commentators was the 
view that the bride represented wisdom. 

When the Christian Church included the Hebrew Bible 
as a part of its canon, the allegorical interpretation of the 
Song of Songs was taken over with it, but the allegory was 
modified so that it conformed to the doctrinal needs of the 
Church. The Song was now understood as a portrayal of the 
love of Christ for his church and as speaking of his dealings 
with it. Modern scholarship has largely abandoned the alle- 
gorical interpretation. 

The Song as a Drama 

The popularity in scholarly circles of the allegorical interpre- 
tation began to decline during the late 18 th century, thereby 
giving rise to other interpretative views. An early contender 
was the view that the Song of Songs was best explained as a 
drama, complete with characters, a plot, and a moral to be 
drawn. The two-character version identified Solomon and the 
Shulammite of 7:1 as the leading dramatis personae. The king 
is attracted to the beautiful country girl, and he takes her from 
her rustic surroundings to his capital for his bride. Through 
a series of romantic interludes, however, she enables him to 
rise above mere sensual infatuation and attain a higher and 
nobler form of love. This version lacked drama and any con- 
vincing moral purpose; the three-character version, however, 
finds Solomon vying with a youthful shepherd for the love of 
the maiden. Despite the concerted efforts of the king to win 
her affections (which included carrying her off to his harem 
in Jerusalem), she adamantly rejects his amorous endeavors. 
Her constant longing for her shepherd lover ultimately damp- 
ens the king's ardor. In the end he graciously allows her to 
return to her home and a happy reunion with her true love. 
The obvious moral of virtue triumphant, unfortunately, de- 
means Solomon. 

The conception of the Song as a drama was not a new in- 
vention of i8 th -century scholars. As early as the third century 
c.e. the Christian scholar, Origen, had described the book as 
a nuptial poem in dramatic form, and two important manu- 
scripts of the fourth and fifth centuries, Codex Sinaiticus and 
Codex Alexandrinus, indicate in their margins the identity 
and order of speakers. The popularity of the theory could 
not be sustained, because of its inherent weaknesses. When 
approached without bias, the Song of Songs obviously lacks 
the elements of a drama. The identification of the speakers, 
stage directions, appropriate divisions into acts or scenes, a 

plot - all these must be imposed upon the text to sustain the 
dramatic theory. A further drawback to the theory is the fig- 
ure of Solomon, for while he is made central in the drama he 
does not appear so in the text itself, and he is actually absent 
in the supposed climax (8:11 ff.). 

The Song as a Cultic Liturgy 

Early in the 20 th century a new theory was suggested in which 
the Song of Songs was understood as a Jewish liturgy which 
was derived ultimately from the pagan rituals of the Tammuz 
(Adonis) cult. This cult, mentioned specifically in the Bible 
only in Ezekiel 8:14 and alluded to elsewhere (some compare 
Isa. 17:10-11), reenacted annually the myth of Tammuz, the god 
of fertility. The lover of the Song is seen as the dying-rising 
god, and the maiden is the goddess who laments him until his 
return, whereupon a sacred marriage (see Klein) ensues. It is 
suggested that much of the poetic material in the Bible came 
from cultic backgrounds, and that the liturgy that underlies 
the Song of Songs came into Israelite traditions through the 
celebration of a ritual marriage at the annual New Year's fes- 
tival. The old Tammuz liturgy was revised in order to make it 
acceptable to the monotheistic ideas of Israel, or the liturgy 
may simply have been reduced to folk poetry. Proponents of 
the theory call attention to the reading of the Song of Songs 
during Passover to bolster their case, but the practice was not 
regularly followed until the medieval period. 

As intriguing as the theory appears at first glance, it can- 
not explain the wholly secular character of the existing Song. 
The Song may very well contain mythological allusions, but 
it is unlikely that these would have been known outside of a 
small circle of bookish savants. 

The Literal Interpretations 

Two interpretations of the Song of Songs existed in the first 
century c.e. - the allegorical and the literal. The rabbis sup- 
pressed the latter while the allegorical view in its manifold 
variations dominated the interpretation of the Song for cen- 
turies. The literal view was never completely suppressed, how- 
ever, for the discussions on canonization were retained and 
transmitted through the Mishnah, and the natural view of the 
Song subtly surfaced in a later rabbinic discussion on the order 
in which Solomon wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song 
of Songs. R. Jonathan argued on the basis of human behavior: 
"When a man is young, he sings songs. When he becomes an 
adult, he utters practical proverbs. When he becomes old, he 
speaks of the vanity of things" (Song R. 1:1, no. 10). The literal 
interpretation, however, was advocated only rarely until the 
late 18 th century when J.G. Herder interpreted the book on the 
basis of the plain meaning of the words, understanding it as 
a collection of love songs. 

A variation of the literal view was initiated when in 1873 
J.G. Wetzstein drew attention to the wedding customs of the 
peasants of Syria. The bride and groom are treated as king 
and queen during a seven-day round of festivities which in- 
clude songs sung by the guests, praising the physical beauty 
of both bride and groom, and a "sword dance" performed 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



by the bride before the groom. In 1893 the proposal was ad- 
vanced by K. Budde that the book is actually a collection of 
Palestinian wedding songs. This fascinating theory held the 
attention of scholars for a generation thereafter, but it left 
disturbing problems unresolved. Not all the songs could so 
easily be identified with nuptial ceremonies, nor even with 
marital love. The division of the Song into seven sections for 
the seven feast days proved unconvincing. It was also illusory 
to assume that marriage customs of modern Syrian peasants 
who are composed of mixed ethnic origins could be realisti- 
cally projected back over two millennia and imposed on a Jew- 
ish milieu, particularly when it was uncertain that the Syrian 
wedding customs described in the theory actually obtained 
even in modern Palestine. 

The predominant trend of modern scholarship is to take 
the Song of Songs literally, as a collection of lyric love songs. 
The anthology includes songs appropriate for use at wedding 
feasts and others that simply celebrate the joys of youthful love. 
The redeeming value of this view, if one is needed, is that love 
in all its manifestations is the work of the Creator who made 
all things and pronounced them good. 

Authorship, Date, and Origin 

Tradition ascribed the Song of Songs to Solomon, but Solo- 
monic authorship has been rejected for the most part by mod- 
ern scholars. The diverse poems and variety of poetic elements 
preclude, too, the unity which the traditional view assumes. 
The language of the book indicates a relatively late date. The 
shape of the verb, natar ( Song 1:6, 8:11, 12) replacing earlier 
ndzar, "guard," for example, shows that it was borrowed from 
Aramaic after the internal Aramaic sound shift from the pho- 
neme preserved in Arabic as [Ja], to [t] sometime in the seventh 
century b.c.e. The Persian loanword pardes, "orchard" (4:13) is 
well post-Solomonic as is the hapaxlegomenon egoz, "walnut" 
(6:11). The aperion, "palanquin," in 3:9 maybe of Greek origin. 
There are sufficient archaic elements in the book (Albright), 
however, to suggest that some of the songs are pre-Exilic. 

The mention of Tirzah in 6:4 has been used to support a 
date for 6:4-7 before Omri moved the capital of the Northern 
Kingdom to Samaria (c. 800 b.c.e.). The geographical hori- 
zons of the Song include North Israel, Syria, Transjordan, and 
Judah, with northern places predominant so that several of the 
songs may have originated in that area. The destruction of the 
Kingdom of Israel in 722 b.c.e. did not necessarily mean the 
loss of that literary heritage. Ample opportunity existed for 
the preservation in Judah of the literary and oral traditions of 
the north when the Kingdom of Judah stood alone. It may be 
assumed that older songs, carried into Exile with the people, 
were brought together with later compositions and were ed- 
ited, probably during the fifth century b.c.e. Older parts of 
the Song may have undergone minor changes in vocabulary 
through the replacement of older words with those more fa- 
miliar before a final editing. 

The discovery since 1929 of the Ugaritic texts has pro- 
vided an important new research tool for biblical scholars. 

Through comparative linguistic studies several grammati- 
cal and syntactical problems in the Song of Songs have been 
partially clarified, and a number of archaic features have been 
identified in its text (Avishur). The direct value of the Ugaritic 
texts for the study of the Song of Songs is limited, however, 
because no work of a comparable theme has yet been discov- 
ered at Ugarit. 

[Keith N. Schoville / S. David Sperling (2 nd ed.)] 

In the Liturgy 

The Song of Songs is included in the liturgy of Passover. It is 
read on the Intermediate Sabbath where there is one; when 
the first day of Passover falls on Sabbath it is read in Israel on 
the first day and in the Diaspora on the eighth. Under kab- 
balistic influence it was instituted as a voluntary reading be- 
fore the Friday evening service, being observed by Sephardi 
Jews, particularly during the Sabbaths between Passover and 

In the Arts 

Like the Book of Psalms, the Song of Songs has been a major 
influence in literature, art, and music - largely as a result of its 
mystical interpretation in Jewish and, even more, in Christian 
tradition. In early medieval times there were notable trans- 
lations by Notker Labeo and Williram in Old High German; 
others appeared during the Renaissance era in various lan- 
guages, including one in Spanish (c. 1561) by the New Chris- 
tian humanist Luis de *Leon which may have been based on 
the original Hebrew; and, in more recent times, there were 
translations by Moses ^Mendelssohn, *Goethe, and *Herder 
(in German), and by *Bossuet and *Renan (in French). In po- 
etry, drama, and fiction the Song of Songs figures mainly in 
works of the 19 th and 20 th centuries. The French poet Victor 
Hugo, who first skirted the theme in his "Salomon" (La legende 
des siecles, 1877), developed it more fully in his "Cantique de 
Bethphage," a poem contained in his posthumous collection, 
La Fin de Satan (1886). Treatments of the theme by Jewish 
writers include Heinrich ^Heine's poem "Salomo" (in Roman- 
zero^ 1851), inspired by Song 3:7 If.; Abraham *Goldfaderis Yid- 
dish operetta, Shulamit (1880); Julius *Zeyer's Czech drama, 
Sulamit (1883); and Die Weisheit Salomos y a German drama 
by Paul *Heyse, which S.L. ^Gordon published in Hebrew as 
Shulamit; o Hokhmat Shelomo (1896). 

The Song of Songs has continued to appeal to many writ- 
ers of the 20 th century, as well. In Russia, for example, Alexan- 
der Ivanovich Kuprin published the romance, Sulamif (1908; 
Eng. trans. 1923); in Argentina, Arturo Capdevila was the au- 
thor of La Sulamita (1916), a play about the Song of Songs; and 
the French dramatist Jean Giraudoux wrote Cantique des can- 
tiques (1938). A number of modern Jewish authors have also 
turned to the subject, including the Russian Samuel *Mar- 
shak, whose poem on the theme dates from his early, pre-So- 
viet, "Jewish" period, and the Romanian poet Marcel Breslasu 
(Cintarea Cintarilor y 1938). 

In art the subject was chiefly popular in the Middle Ages, 
when it was given a symbolic interpretation. Thus, in Byzan- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


tine miniatures, illustrations to "Behold, it is the litter of Solo- 
mon; Threescore mighty men are about it, Of the Mighty men 
of Israel" (3:7) sometimes show Jesus in place of Solomon, the 
"mighty men" being depicted as angels with lances. The sub- 
ject appears in n th -century Byzantine miniatures such as the 
Homilies of the Monk James (Vatican Library, Bibliotheque Na- 
tionale, Paris) and in the n th -century Hortus Deliciarum. The 
Shulamite or Beloved symbolized the Church (i.e., the bride 
of Jesus), and hence the virgin Mary (the Church is represen- 
tative). In the Hortus Deliciarum the Beloved is shown as the 
virgin flanked by monks and laity with the daughters of Zion 
at her feet, and the Beloved is also shown as Mary in the 16 th 
century Story of the Virgin tapestry in Rheims Cathedral. Fig- 
ures of the madonna from medieval France and Spain some- 
times have blackened heads. These "black madonnas" have 
been thought to derive from the description of the Beloved 
who is "black, but comely" (1:5). The metaphors for the Be- 
loved, such as the "rose of Sharon" (2:1), the "garden shut up" 
(4:12) and the "fountain of gardens" (4:15) became attributes 
of the virgin. 

Two representations of the 19 th century are "The Shu- 
lamite," by the English painter Albert Joseph Moore (1841- 
1893; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool), and "The Song of Solo- 
mon" (1868), a drawing by the English pre-Raphaelite artist 
Simeon *Solomon (1840-1905; Municipal Gallery of Mod- 
ern Art, Dublin). Modern Jewish works include a series of 
paintings by Marc * Chagall, illuminations (1923) by Ze'ev 
Rabban (1890-1970), illustrations by the Israel artist Shraga 
Weill (1918), and engravings by the Canadian David Silver- 
berg (1961). 

In the music of the 15 th , and more frequently of the 16 th , 
century settings of the (Vulgate text of the) Song of Songs 
were generally composed for liturgical purposes, since the 
verses and sections form part of many Marian celebrations. 
Early examples are Quam pulchra es by John Dunstable and 
by King Henry vin of England. Sixteenth-century compos- 
ers of motets and motet-cycles on the text include most of 
the great "Netherlanders" and their Italian successors. In the 
17 th century, the functions and forms of the settings became 
more diverse. Monteverdi's choral Nigra sum and Pulchra es 
were still in use as Marian praises, while his Ego flos campi 
and Ego dormio had already been composed as songs for 
alto voice and continue Among Schuetz's many settings in 
both Latin and German, Ich beschwoere euch (1641) is a dia- 
logo approaching the dramatic form. The German Protestant 
settings were mostly intended as wedding songs; with the 
rise of Pietism they once more assumed a religio-allegorical 
function. Meine Freundin du bistschoen by Johann Christoph 
Bach, another wedding piece, practically concludes a period 
in the musical history of the Song of Songs. The 18 th century 
did not favor the text, although one rare exception was Wil- 
liam Boyce's Solomon, a Sereneta... taken from the Canticles 
( 1 743)> with dialogues between "He" and "She," and choirs. In 
the 19 th and 20 th centuries the dramatic, or at least dialogic 
potential of the text again appealed to composers. The 19 th - 

century works include Tota pulchra es by Bruckner; Chabrier's 
cantata, La Sulamite; Leopold *Damrosch's oratorio, Sulamith; 
and the oratorios titled Canticum canticorum by Enrico Bossi 
and Italo Montemezzi. Twentieth-century composers include 
Ralph Vaughan Williams (Flos campi, for viola solo, wordless 
voices, and small orchestra); Virgil Thompson (Five phrases 
from the Song of Solomon, for soprano and percussion); Ja- 
cobo Ficher (Sulamita, symphonic poem); Rudolf Wagner- 
Regeny (Schir haschirim, for choir; German text by Manfred 
Sturmann); Lukas Toss (Song of Songs, for soprano and or- 
chestra); Jean Martinon (Le Lis de Saron, oratorio); Stanislaw 
Skrowaczewski (Cantique des cantiques, for soprano and 23 
instruments); Arthur Honegger (Le Cantique des Cantiques, 
ballet); Natanael Berg (Das Hohelied, for choir); and Mario 
*Castelnuovo-Tedesco (The Songs of Songs, scenic oratorio; 
also settings of "Set me as a seal upon thine heart," etc., for 
Reform Jewish wedding ceremonies). 

Among settings by Israel composers the best known are 
the oratorio Shir ha-Shirim by Marc *Lavry, and the solo song 
Hinakh Yafah by Alexander Uriah *Boscovich (the latter based 
on the traditional Ashkenazi intonation of the text). Several 
choral settings have also been composed for the introductory 
parts of the Kibbutz *seder ceremonies, which traditionally 
open with the celebration of Spring. The folk-style settings of 
single verses and combinations of verses (often out of their 
original sequence) are especially numerous. Their role was 
particularly important in the formative years of the Israel folk- 
dance movement (during the late 1940s). The need for lyrical 
couple-dances - as against prevailing communal dances such 
as the *Horah and those derived from it and the "jolly" couple- 
dances taken over from Europe - led to an ideological conflict 
which was resolved by basing the new, more tender dances on 
the "historical" precedent of the Song of Songs. 

The Song scarcely appears in traditional Jewish folk mu- 
sic outside its liturgical function - no doubt because of the 
rabbinic prohibition against singing it "like a folksong" (Sanh. 
101a; see The Five ^Scrolls, musical rendition). 

[Bathja Bayer] 

bibliography: R. Gordis, The Song of Songs (1954); M.H. 
Segal, in: vt, 9 (1959), 470-90; W.F. Albright, in: Festschrift... G.R. 
Driver (1963), 1-7; H.H. Rowley, in: The Servant of the Lord and Other 
Essays on the Old Testament (1965), 197-245; E.M. Yamauchi, in: jbl, 
84 (1965), 283-90; G.D. Cohen, in: The Samuel Friedland Lectures 
1960-66 (1966), 1-21; R. Soulen, in: jbl, 86 (1967), 183-90; G. Fohrer, 
Introduction to the Old Testament (1968); K.N. Schoville, The Impact of 
the Ras Shamra Texts on the Study of the Song of Songs (Ph.D. disserta- 
tion, University Microfilms, 1970); CD. Ginsburg, The Song of Songs 
(1857; 1970 2 with introd. by S.H. Blank), add. bibliography: N.H. 
Tur-Sinai, in: Ha-Lashon ve-ha-Sefer, vol. 2 (1959), 351-88; M. Held, in: 
jes, 15 (1961), 1-26; J. Cooper, in: jbl, 90 (1970), 157-62; idem, in: I. 
Finkel and M.Geller (eds.), Sumerian Gods and their Representations 
(1997), 85-97; Y. Avishur, in: Beth Mikra, 19 (1974), 508-25; M. Pope, 
Song of Songs (ab; 1977); P. Trible, God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality 
(1978); W. Hallo, in: L. Gorelick and E. Williams-Forte (1983), 7-17; 
idem, in: Bible Review, 1 (1985), 20-27; idem, in, janes, 22 (1993), 
45-50; M.V. Fox, The Song of Songs and the Ancient Egyptian Love 
Songs (1985); D. Pardee, in: J. Marks and M. Good (eds.), Love and 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Death in the Ancient Near East Essays... Pope (1987), 65-69; C. Meyers, 
Discovering Eve (1991); Y. Zakovitch, Song of Songs (1992); J. Snaith, 
Song of Songs (1993); R. Weems, in: nib 5 (1997), 361-434; J. Klein, 
in: abd, 5:866-70; R. Murphy, in: abd, 6:15-55 (with bibliography); 
E. Matter, in: dbi, 2:492-96; D. Carr, in: jbl, 119 (2000), 233-48; T. 
Longman, Song of Songs (nicot; 2001); P. Dirksen, in: Biblia Hebra- 
ica Quinta, vol. 18 (critical edition; 2004). 

SONG OF SONGS RABBAH, aggadic Midrash on the Song 
of *Songs, the product of Palestinian amor aim. In geonic and 
medieval rabbinic literature Song of Songs Rabbah is also re- 
ferred to as Midrash Hazita or Aggadat Hazita, the name de- 
riving from its opening passage: "This is what Scripture states 
in the words of Solomon (Prov. 22:29): 'Seest thou (hazita) a. 
man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings.'" In 
the editio princeps of the work, it is called Shir ha-Shirim Rab- 
bati and Midrash Shir ha-Shirim. (For the name Song of Songs 
Rabbahy see *Ruth Rabbah.) 

It is an exegetical Midrash which expounds the * Song of 
Songs consecutively, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, and 
sometimes even word byword. In the editio princeps the work 
is divided into two sections, the first an exposition of Song of 
Songs 1:1-2:7; the second of 2:8 to the end. Later editions, how- 
ever, are further subdivided into eight chapters correspond- 
ing to those of the biblical book. The Midrash begins with five 
proems characteristic of amoraic Midrashim, starting with 
an extraneous introductory verse which is subsequently con- 
nected with the opening verse of the biblical book expounded 
by the Midrash. Here the proems, most of which are anony- 
mous, are introduced by verses from the Hagiographa (three 
from Proverbs and one from Ecclesiastes, both ascribed, as is 
the Song of Songs, to Solomon). 

The language of the Midrash is mishnaic Hebrew with 
an admixture of Galilean Aramaic and with a liberal repre- 
sentation of Greek words. 

Song of Songs Rabbah drew from tannaitic literature, the 
Jerusalem Talmud, Genesis Rabbahy and Leviticus Rabbah , as 
well as *Pesikta de-Rav Kahana in a recension somewhat dif- 
ferent from its present form. There is no evidence, however, to 
support the suggestion that it also made use of Lamentations 
Rabbah y the greater likelihood being that both of these drew 
upon a common source. Conversely, Song of Songs Rabbahy 
even though in a recension other than that extant, served as 
a source for *Pesikta Rabbati. It is employed in the piyyutim 
of Meshullam b. Kalonymus and is referred to in Teshuvot ha- 
Gebnim (ed. A. Harkavy (1887) 36). This Midrash contains 
much original tannaitic and amoraic material. It interprets 
Song of Songs as an allegory of the relationship between God 
and Israel. It also contains many aggadot dealing with the mes- 
sianic redemption, as well as polemical expositions against 
Christianity. The work was apparently redacted in Erez Israel 
about the middle of the sixth century c.e. 

There are several later additions in the Midrash, some of 
them the work of copyists. On Song of Songs 1:2, for example, 
a copyist added an entreaty that his nephew might acquire a 
knowledge of the To rah. 


Songs of Songs Rabbah was first published in Pesaro in 1519 to- 
gether with the midrashim on the four other scrolls (although 
entirely unrelated to them) and has often been reprinted on 
the basis of this edition. There are several extant manuscripts 
of the Midrash, the earliest being the Parma manuscript, dated 
1270, in which Song of Songs Rabbah occurs in the middle of 
Pesikta Rabbati between sections 18 and 19, associated with 
the festival of Passover, when the Song of Songs is customar- 
ily read. An English translation by Maurice Simon appeared 
in the Soncino Midrash (1939). 

bibliography: Zunz-Albeck, Derashot, 128; Theodor, in: 

mgwj, 28 (1879), 97ff., i64ff., 27iff., 337ff., 4o8fF., 455ff.; 29 (1880), 

19 n\; Urbach, in: Tarbiz, 30 (1960/61), 148-70; Sachs, in: jqr, 56 

(1965/66), 225-39. 

[Moshe David Herr] 

OF AZARIAH, an apocryphal addition to the ancient ver- 
sions (Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Ara- 
bic) of the canonical text of the Book of Daniel, inserted be- 
tween 3:23 and 3:24. The interpolation, which may have been 
composed in Hebrew in the second or first century b. c.e., is 
in three sections: (a) the Prayer of Azariah (1-22), praising 
God, confessing Israel's sins, and imploring divine deliverance; 
(b) details concerning the heating of the fiery furnace (23-27); 
and (c) the Song of the Three Children (28-68). The last is in 
two parts: the opening liturgy addressed to God (29-34) an d 
a series of exhortations addressed to all creatures, animate and 
inanimate, to praise the Lord (35-68). The unknown author 
of the addition derived much of his inspiration from the an- 
tiphonal liturgies in Psalms 136 and 148. 

bibliography: See Bibliography in *Susanna and the El- 

[Bruce M. Metzger] 

SONNABEND, YOLANDA (1934- ), stage designer and 
painter. Yolanda Sonnabend was born in Rhodesia, but stud- 
ied at the Academie des Beaux- Arts, Geneva, at Rome Uni- 
versity, and at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. She was 
a resident of London from 1964. A well-known stage designer 
and painter, she collaborated on productions at Sadler's Wells 
and the Royal Opera House, London, at the Old Vic, the Stutt- 
gart Staatsoper, and the Aldeburgh Festival. These productions 
included the Oresteia trilogy by Aeschylus, Monteverdi's Or- 
feo, The Maids by Genet, Shakespeare's The Tempest, Othello, 
Henry iv. and Benjamin Britten's opera, The Turn of the Screw. 
Her work was noted for intensity of vision and an extremely 
personal use of color and decoration. Among her finest efforts 
have been the plays of Genet, which require fantastic settings. 
She held exhibitions of stage designs in London, New York, 
and Italy, and her paintings appeared in numerous mixed 
exhibitions. She is represented in the collections of the Vic- 
toria and Albert Museum, London, and the Arts Council of 

Great Britain. 

[Charles Samuel Spencer] 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


SONNE, ISAIAH (1887-1960), scholar, historian, and bibli- 
ographer. Born in Galicia, Sonne studied at Swiss and Italian 
universities and at the Collegio Rabbinico in Florence, where 
he later became a lecturer in Talmud, philosophy, and Jewish 
history after having taught at the Hebrew high school in Lodz. 
In Florence he also taught German in a state high school and 
worked in the libraries and archives of the Jewish communi- 
ties in Italy. From 1936 to 1939 he headed the rabbinical semi- 
nary in Rhodes, and in 1940 became lecturer and librarian at 
Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati. 

Sonne's scholarly interests extended to history, particu- 
larly that of Italian Jewry; biography (Judah Abrabanel, Uriel 
d'Acosta, Leone Modena); philosophy (Spinoza, Pascal); He- 
brew literature (Immanuel of Rome); bibliography; and Jew- 
ish art. He was a scholar of penetrating insights, able to ex- 
tract underlying historical theories from seemingly trivial 
details, e.g., his article in the Alexander Marx Jubilee Volume 
(1950, Hebrew section, 209-32). Sonne discovered a number 
of hitherto unknown works and documents, his main work 
consisting of articles that he published in learned periodicals 
and Festschriften. His books include Avnei Binyan le-Toledot 
ha-Yehudim be-Italyah ("Documents in the History of the 
Jews in Italy," 1938-40) and Mi-Paulus ha-Revii ad Pius ha- 
Hamishi "From Paul iv to Pius v," 1954); among his biblio- 
graphical studies is his "Expurgation of Hebrew Books; the 
work of Jewish Scholars" (in: Bulletin of the New York Pub- 
lic Library , 46 (1942), 975-1013). Of a polemical bent, Sonne 
was involved in a number of scholarly controversies. He be- 
queathed his collection of books and manuscripts to the Ben- 
Zvi Institute, Jerusalem, which published a memorial volume 
in his name in 1961. 

bibliography: E.E. Urbach, in: Sefunot, 5 (1961), 11-16; N. 
Ben-Menahem, ibid., 17-25 (bibl.); A.M. Habermann, in: Haaretz 
(Dec. 30, i960); A.S. Halkin, ibid. (July 28, i960). 

[Jerucham Tolkes] 

U.S. businessman and Zionist leader. Sonneborn was born 
in Baltimore, Maryland. He served as a navy pilot during 
World War 1. In 1920 he joined his family's oil and chemical 
firm, L. Sonneborn and Sons of New York City, with which 
he remained associated. He was a director of the Commercial 
State Bank and Trust Company of New York, and president of 
the American Financial and Development Corporation for 
Israel and the Israel American Petroleum Corporation. Son- 
neborn was first attracted to Zionism during his student years. 
In 1919, when he was 21, he served on the ^Zionist Commis- 
sion to Palestine and journeyed alone to Damascus to con- 
fer with Emir Feisal. His wide connections in the American- 
Jewish community well equipped him as leader of a small 
group of prominent American Jews, called the Sonneborn 
Institute, who worked secretly with the Haganah in the years 
after World War 11 to provide the Palestine yishuv with des- 
perately needed arms, ships (including the famous Exodus) , 
and supplies. After the establishment of the State of Israel, 

the group continued its activities as Materials for Israel, of 
which Sonneborn was president until 1955. In addition to his 
business activities on behalf of the Jewish State, Sonneborn 
served in executive capacities with the United Jewish Appeal, 
the United Israel Appeal, and the Zionist Organization of 
America. He married Dorothy *Schiff, owner and publisher 
of the New York Post. 

add. bibliography: L. Goldstein, The Pledge (2001). 

[Hillel Halkin] 

SONNEMANN, LEOPOLD (1831-1909), German banker, 
newspaper publisher, politician; founder and owner of the 
Frankfurter Zeitung. He was born in the town of Hochberg, 
Bavaria, to a traditional Jewish family. Following the death 
of his father in 1853, Sonnemann successfully turned the fam- 
ily's cloth-trade business into an international banking house. 
In 1856, at the age of 25, he joined forces with another Frank- 
furt banker, H.B. Rosenthal, in establishing a liberal financial 
paper, Frankfurter Geschaftsbericht, later renamed Frank- 
furter Handelsblatt. In 1859, the paper was transformed into 
the Neue Frankfurter Zeitung and, in 1866, into the Frank- 
furter Zeitung (fz), by then published in Sonnemanns Frank- 
furter Societaets-Druckerei. In 1867, he became sole proprietor 
and editor. Under his direction, the fz soon developed 
into one of the leading liberal dailies in Germany. Deeply 
impressed as a boy by the revolutionary events in 1848/49, 
Sonnemann was one of the founders of the Volkswirtschaftli- 
cher Kongress (German Economic Congress), to which he 
reported on banking and stock exchange systems until 1885. 
From 1871 to 1876 and from 1878 to 1884, he was a member 
of the Reichstag, representing the Deutsche Volkspartei (South- 
ern German Democratic Party). He was also a member of 
the Frankfurt city council. In his will, he asked that the 
Frankfurter Zeitung remain a liberal voice, and so it contin- 
ued until it was closed on the personal instructions of Hit- 
ler in 1943. 

bibliography: H. Simon, Leopold Sonnemann (Ger., 1931). 
add. bibliography: A. Giesen (ed.), Zwolf Jahre im Reichstage. 
Reichstagsreden von Leopold Sonnemann (1901); Wininger 5 (1930), 
571-2; E. Kahn, in: lbiyb, 2 (1957), 228-35; K. Gerteis, Leopold 
Sonnemann (1970); W.E. Mosse, in: lbiyb, 15 (1970), 125-39; B.B. 
Frye, in: lbiyb, 22 (1976), 143-72; A. Estermann, Dokumente zu Le- 
opold Sonnemann (1995). 

[Lawrence H. Feigenbaum / Johannes Valentin Schwarz (2 nd ed.)] 

SONNENFELD, BARRY (1953- ), U.S. director-producer. 
Born in New York City, Sonnenfeld grew up in Washington 
Heights and attended the High School of Music and Art in 
Manhattan. He majored in political science at New York Uni- 
versity, but completed his senior year at Hampshire College in 
Amherst, Massachusetts. Following a cross-country trip, Son- 
nenfeld decided to enroll in nyu's Graduate Institute of Film 
and Television. He earned money making industrial films, 
directing commercials, music videos, and X-rated movies. In 
1982, Sonnenfeld worked as a cinematographer on the doc- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



umentary In Our Water, which earned an Academy Award 
nomination. After he met fellow nyu film student Joel *Coen 
at a party, the two became friends. Sonnenfeld helped Coen 
raise money for the noir thriller Blood Simple (1984), for which 
he was the cinematographer. In 1985, he won an Emmy Award 
for his work on an abc television special, Out of Step. He 
was the cinematographer for several feature films, including 
the Coen brothers' Raising Arizona (1987) and Millers Cross- 
ing (1990) and Rob * Reiner's When Harry Met Sally... (1989) 
and Misery (1990). Sonnenfeld directed The Addams Family 
(1991), a big-screen adaptation of the 1960s sitcom inspired by 
Charles Addams' cartoons, which earned more than $110 mil- 
lion, and the sequel, Addams Family Values (1993). He turned 
down the opportunity to direct Forrest Gump (1994), prefer- 
ring instead to adapt the Elmore Leonard novel Get Shorty 
(1995), which earned actor John Travolta a Golden Globe. Af- 
ter directing the quirky sci-fi comedy hit Men in Black (1997), 
Sonnenfeld began moving into production with two Elmore 
Leonard projects, television's Maximum Bob (1998) and the 
Steven *Soderbergh-directed feature Out of Sight (1998). Af- 
ter directing Wild Wild West (1999), a big-budget flop, Son- 
nenfeld returned to his crime roots directing the Dave Barry 
comedy Big Trouble (2002) and the sequel to his 1997 hit Men 
in Black 11 (2002). He delved further into Leonards lead char- 
acter from Out of Sight with the short-lived television show 
Karen Sisco (2003). In 2004, he produced the Coen brothers' 
remake of The Ladykillers and Lemony Snicket's A Series of 

Unfortunate Events. 

[Adam Wills (2 nd ed.)] 

SOLOMON (1849-1932), first rabbi of the separatist Ortho- 
dox community in Jerusalem. Born in Verbo (Slovakia), Son- 
nenfeld was orphaned at the age of four. As a child he stud- 
ied both in a talmud torah and in a general school, but in his 
youth he decided to devote himself entirely to rabbinic study. 
After pursuing his studies in the yeshivah of his native town, 
in 1865 he went to Pressburg, where he lived in great poverty 
while studying in the yeshivah of Abraham Samuel Benjamin 
Sofer. In 1870 he received the title of honor Morenu from his 
teacher in a letter full of laudatory references to his great learn- 
ing. The same year he went to Kobersdorf (Burgenland), where 
he became a pupil of A. Shag, who thought highly of him. In 
1873 Sonnenfeld accompanied his teacher to Erez Israel and 
settled in the Old City of Jerusalem, and until the end of his 
life meticulously refrained from remaining outside the walls 
of the Old City for more than 30 days. He formed a close as- 
sociation with M.J.L. *Diskin and was his right hand in his 
communal activities, such as the founding of the large orphan- 
age and schools and the struggle against the secular schools. 
Sonnenfeld was one of the most active and influential person- 
alities in the community centered in the Old City. He headed 
the Hungarian kolel Shomerei ha-Homot ("the guardians of 
the walls"), founded the Battei Ungarn quarter, and helped in 
the establishment of other quarters in Jerusalem. In 1919 he 

was one of a group of rabbis headed by A.I. Kook which vis- 
ited the newly established settlements in order to influence 
them with regard to the observance of Judaism. 

Sonnenfeld stood for complete separation between 
the Orthodox and the non- Orthodox; he strongly opposed 
the bringing of the institutions of the old yishuv under the 
control of the Zionist bodies and the participation of the 
Orthodox in the official community, Keneset Yisrael, and 
fought for the statutory right of every individual to opt out of 
it. When the Jewish Battalions were founded in World War 1 
he opposed enlistment of Orthodox Jews in the battalions. 
He was one of the founders of the Va'ad ha-Ir le-Kehillat 
ha-Ashkenazim ("City Council for the Ashkenazi Commu- 
nity"), as well as of its bet din, in opposition to the official 
Jerusalem rabbinate. He was also a founder of *Agudat Israel 
in Erez Israel. 

As a result of his adherence to the doctrine of separation, 
Sonnenfeld was one of the chief opponents of A.I. Kook, and 
led the opposition to his appointment as rabbi of Jerusalem, 
and later as chief rabbi of Erez Israel, even though on the per- 
sonal level their relationship was one of friendship and es- 
teem. In 1920 Sonnenfeld was elected rabbi of a separate Or- 
thodox community. In his struggle for the emergence of the 
separatist community he was especially aided by the Dutch 
publicist Jacob Israel de *Haan, who took care that eminent 
non- Jewish visitors would meet Sonnenfeld, and they were 
duly impressed by his personality. He was a member of the 
separatist Orthodox delegation that appeared, on de Haan's 
initiative, before Hussein, king of the Hedjaz, when the latter 
visited Transjordan. He appeared before the U.S. King-Crane 
Commission (see: ^Palestine, Inquiry Commissions); he also 
instructed his followers to meet Lord Northcliffe on his visit 
to Erez Israel. On all these occasions Sonnenfeld expressed a 
positive attitude to the Jewish resettlement of Erez Israel and 
the return to Zion, and in the census declared Hebrew as his 
language. He generally preached loyalty toward the govern- 
ment. He also inclined to moderation toward the Arabs of 
Erez Israel and strove to establish peace between them and 
the Jewish population. 

His published works include glosses to the Aguddah on 
Bava Kamma (Jerusalem, 1874) and on all of Nezikin (1899), 
a pamphlet, Seder ha-Purim ha-Meshullash (1898 ff.); Salmat 
Hayyim, responsa to Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayyim and Yoreh 
Deah (193842). 

bibliography: M. B\au,Ammuda di-Nehora (1932, 1968 2 ); 

idem, Al Homotayikh Yerushalayim (1946), 114-9; L Breuer, in: 

Nach'lath Zwi, 2 (1932), 193-201; S. Daniel, in: La-Moed, 1 (1959), 

281-5; A.B. Schurin, Keshet Gibborim (1964), 93-97; Tidhar, 1 (1947), 


[Zvi Kaplan] 

SONNENFELD, SIGISMUND (1847-1929), journalist, phi- 
lanthropist, and communal leader, born in Vagujhely (then in 
Hungary). After graduating in philosophy, Sonnenfeld joined 
the staff of Pester Lloyd in Budapest. In 1890 he settled in Paris 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


where he became director of the philanthropic institutions of 
Baron de * Hirsch; as such he took part in planning relief for 
East European Jewry. From 1891 to 1911 he was a director of 
ica (* Jewish Colonization Association), undertaking several 
study tours in Russia, Romania, and Argentina. He also was 
a member of the central committee of the ^Alliance Israelite 

bibliography: Wininger, Biog, 5 (1930), s.v. 

SONNENFELDT, HELMUT (1926- ), political adviser and 
scholar. Born in Berlin, Sonnenfeldt fled Nazi Germany with 
his family, settling in the United States in 1944. He was edu- 
cated at Johns Hopkins University, earning his bachelors de- 
gree in 1950 and his masters degree in 1951. 

Sonnenfeldt joined the U.S. Department of State in 1952, 
becoming director of the Office of Research on the Soviet 
Union and Eastern Europe, a position he held until 1969. That 
year he was appointed as a National Security Council aide on 
Soviet affairs, working under Henry Kissinger, who was Presi- 
dent Richard Nixon's national security adviser. Sonnenfeldt s 
close relationship with Kissinger, as well as their agreement in 
foreign policy matters, led to his inclusion in Kissinger's wide- 
ranging diplomatic ventures, including the early initiatives 
toward normalization of relations with China and the ex- 
tensive negotiations leading to the Strategic Arms Limita- 
tion Talks. 

Following Kissinger's appointment as secretary of state in 
1973, Sonnenfeldt returned to the State Department, holding 
the position of counselor from 1974 to 1977. An expert politi- 
cal analyst, Sonnenfeldt also had a reputation as an anti-Com- 
munist. His departure from the department in 1977 was pur- 
portedly driven by a misunderstanding over remarks about 
the Soviet Union. 

Sonnenfeldt continued his career as a consultant and 
political analyst, writing and lecturing on international is- 
sues. He became a visiting scholar at the School of Advanced 
International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. In 1978 he 
was named a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, a po- 
sition he still held in 2006. In 1988 and 1989 he served as a 
member of the executive committee of the International In- 
stitute of Strategic Studies. He wrote and lectured extensively 
on Asian- Pacific affairs, national security, U.S. -European re- 
lations, and executive and congressional relations. His works 
include Soviet Politics in the 1980s (1985), Soviet Perspectives 
on Security (with William Hyland, 1979), and Soviet Style in 
International Politics (1985). He contributed numerous articles 
to academic journals. 

Sonnenfeldt serves as a trustee of Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity and was a member of the Executive Panel of the Chief 
of Naval Operations. He was director of the Atlantic Council 
of the United States and was a member of the advisory coun- 
cil of numerous organizations, including the Balkan Action 
Committee, the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee, 

and the World Affairs Council. 

[Dorothy Bauhoff (2 nd ed.)] 

SONNENFELS, ALOYS VON (Hayyim Lipmann Perlin; 
Aloys Wiener; d. c. 1775-80), apostate Hebrew interpreter 
in Vienna. Son of a Brandenburg rabbi, Sonnenfels went 
to *Mikulov (Nikolsburg), Moravia, as an agent of the local 
noblemen. He adopted the Roman Catholic faith between 
1735 and 1741 and had his two sons baptized. His wife, how- 
ever, remained in the Jewish faith. Moving to Vienna, he be- 
came teacher of Oriental languages at the university there and 
court interpreter to *Maria Theresa. He was knighted in 1746. 
A year earlier he had published Or Nogah, Splendor lucis y sl 
"physico-kabbalistic" exposition in Hebrew and German of 
the problem of the philosopher s stone. In 1753 he translated 
the Shai Takkanot (see *Moravia) for the compilation of the 
Polizey-ordnung of 1754. That same year he wrote to R. Isaac 
Landau of Cracow offering to go to Poland to assist in the 
struggle against the Frankist blood libel (see Jacob *Frank 
and the Frankists), publishing Juedischer Blut-Eckel in Latin 
and German against the blood libel (1753). In it he argued 
that such false, superstitious accusations prevented Jews from 
recognizing the truth of Christianity. When Jacob Selekh, the 
representative of Polish Jewry, went to ask for the renewal of 
the papal *bulls in refutation of the blood libel, Sonnenfels 
submitted an Italian translation of his book. He published a 
christological apology, Controversiae cum Judaeis ("Contro- 
versies with the Jews"), in Latin in 1758. When proposing, in 
1760, that he should write a book in defense of the Talmud, 
which was then under attack at the court of Pope Clem- 
ent xni, he requested financial support for this project from 
the Italian communities. The book, which was also to include 
proof that the Gospels could be explained by the Talmud, did 
not materialize. 

His son Joseph (1732-1817) became the chief representa- 
tive of the ideology of enlightened despotism, and as adviser 
to Maria Theresa, * Joseph 11, and Leopold 11, one of the most 
influential men in the Hapsburg Empire in the second half of 
the 18 th century. Born in Mikulov and baptized at the age of 
three, he never mentioned his Jewish origin. After graduating 
from the philosophy faculty of Vienna University, he joined 
the army in 1749. On his discharge (1754) he studied law, be- 
coming a professor of political science in 1763. As he was pro- 
ficient in nine languages, Hebrew among them, he succeeded 
his father as court interpreter. 

Joseph von Sonnenfels published more than 150 books 
and pamphlets and his textbooks on national economy, partic- 
ularly mercantilism, were influential for decades (Grundsaetze 
der Polizey-Handlung und Finanzwissenschaft y 3 vols., 1765-67, 
1819-22). Sonnenfels opposed excessive urbanization and held 
that it was the responsibility of the state to guarantee all who 
were willing to work the minimum means of subsistence. In 
his Ueber die Liebe des Vaterlandes (1771) he introduced the 
concept of the "fatherland" into Hapsburg lands. He favored 
indirect taxation and opposed revenue farming. Sonnenfels 
had literary ambitions, aspiring to be the first Austrian author 
to attain international fame. He founded the periodical Der 
Mann ohne Vorurteil (1765-75). He eliminated the Hanswurst 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



("buffoon") from the popular Viennese stage and was involved 
in a controversy with Gotthold Ephraim *Lessing. In Aus- 
tria he was remembered mainly for the part he played in the 
abolition of torture injudicial procedure (Ueber die Abschaf- 
fungder Tortur, 1775, 1782 2 ). He also fostered educational re- 

Sonnenfels drafted the *Toleranzpatent of Joseph 11, 
which shows the imprint of his theories. In 1782 he published 
in Berlin a pamphlet titled Das Forschen nach Licht und Re- 
cht in which he requested Moses ^Mendelssohn to become a 
Christian. Mendelssohn's reaction to this was published in 
his Jerusalem (1783). In 1784 Sonnenfels made Mendelssohn a 
member of his Deutsche Gesellschaft (German scientific soci- 
ety) and of the Vienna Academy of Sciences. Although highly 
honored during his lifetime (becoming Wirklicher Geheimrat, 
Real Aulic councillor in 1779, twice rector of Vienna Univer- 
sity, head of the Academy of Sciences in 1810), Sonnenfels was 
known in Vienna as "the Nikolsburg Jew." A statue of him was 
erected in front of Vienna city hall when the antisemite Karl 
*Lueger was mayor; it was removed under Nazi rule (1938) 
and restored in 1945. 

bibliography: R.A. Kann, A Study in Austrian Intellectual 
History (i960), 146-244; bibl., 310-35; Holzmann and Portheim, in: 
Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden in der Tschechoslowakei, 1 
(1930/31), 198-207; 2 (1931/32), 60-66; Nirtl, ibid., 3 (1932/33)* 224; 
W. Mueller, UrkundlicheBeitraege... maehrischen Judenschaft (1903), 
83-84; F. Kobler, Juden und Judentum in deutschen Briefen (1938), 
50-51; 103-14; L. Loew, Gesammelte Schriften, 2 (1891), 363-6; 405-6; 
idem, Aron Chorin (Ger., 1863), 137-40; G. Wolf, Das Unterrichtswe- 
sen in Oesterreich unter Kaiser Josef 11 nach... Joseph von Sonnenfels 
(1880); Zielenziger, in: ess, 14 (1954), 258-9; S. Simonsohn, Toledot 
ha-Yehudim be-Dukkasut Mantova (1963), index; Katz, in: Zion, 29 
(1964), 112-32; R. Kestenberg-Gladstein, Neuere Geschichte der Juden 
in den boehmischen Laendern, 1 (1969), index. 

[Meir Lamed] 

SONNENSCHEIN (nee Jassol), ROSA (1847-1932), early 
American Zionist and editor. Sonnenschein was born in 
Hungary but immigrated to America where she soon became 
prominent in literary circles, serving as special correspondent 
for several St. Louis and Chicago newspapers while attending 
the Paris Exposition. 

At the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 
she read a paper on the need for a literary journal for women, 
which was followed by her founding the first independent 
English -language Jewish women's journal in the United States, 
The American Jewess, which appeared from 1895 to 1899, when 
it was discontinued for financial reasons, despite the fact that 
it was supported by the National Council of Women and had 
many well-known contributors, including Israel *Zangwill, 
Max *Nordau and Isaac Meyer *Wise. 

During her numerous trips abroad, she met Theodor 
*Herzl and became an ardent Zionist and was a delegate to 
the First Zionist Congress held in Basle in 1897. 

In 1864, she married Rabbi Solomon Hirsch Sonnen- 
schein who was a rabbi in Prague and subsequently in New 

York, St. Louis, and Des Moines, Iowa. They were divorced 
however in the 1890s. 

bibliography: J.N. Porter, in: American Jewish History 
(1978), 78; J. Zausmer, Be-Ikve ha-Dor (1957); A. Lebeson, Recall to 
Life: The Jewish Women in America (1970), 228-33. 

[Jack Nusan Porter] 


1834-1909), Austrian actor and theatrical director. Appren- 
ticed to a tailor, Sonnenthal decided to become an actor on 
seeing a performance by Bogumil *Dawison. For several years 
he acted in theaters in Temesvar, Hermannstadt, and Graz, un- 
til he was invited by Heinrich Laube to join the Burgtheater 
in Vienna in 1856. After an indifferent debut, he triumphed 
in Don Carlos and was given a contract that kept him at the 
Burgtheater for life. Though not handsome, he nevertheless 
excelled in drawing-room comedy, but he gained his great 
reputation in Shakespeare, Goethe, Schiller, Ibsen. Among his 
most impressive roles were Romeo, Hamlet, Macbeth, Wal- 
lenstein, Faust, King Lear, Nathan the Wise, and Uriel Acosta. 
He became Oberregisseur of the Burgtheater in 1884 and its 
provisional general manager in 1887-88 and 1889-90. Son- 
nenthal was a practicing Jew and resisted attempts to convert 
him. More than once he was a target of antisemitic attacks. 
The emperor made him a nobleman in 1881. He made guest 
appearances in Russia and the U.S. 

bibliography: L. Eisenberg, Adolf Sonnenthal (Ger., 1900). 
add. bibliography: J. Bab and W. Handl, Deutsche Schaus- 
pieler . . . (1908); J. Minor, Aus dem alten und neuen Burgtheater (1920); 
J. Handl, Schauspieler des Burgtheaters (1955). 

[Gershon K. Gershony / Jens Make Fischer (2 nd ed.)] 

SONNINO, (Giorgio) SIDNEY (1847-1922), Italian states- 
man and economist who twice became prime minister of Italy. 
The son of a wealthy Jewish merchant from Pisa and a Prot- 
estant mother whose faith he adopted, Sonnino graduated 
from the University of Pisa and was variously occupied as a 
journalist, lawyer, and diplomat. In 1880 he entered parlia- 
ment where he rapidly established himself as an authority on 
financial policy. In 1893 he became undersecretary of the 
treasury and was made minister of finance in 1896 when, to- 
gether with Luigi *Luzzatti, he helped reduce the Italian bud- 
get deficit. 

Sonnino served two short periods as prime minister (in 
1906 and 1909-10) and was foreign minister during World 
War 1, signing the Treaty of London in 1915 by which Italy 
sided with the Allies. He remained foreign minister after the 
war and headed the Italian delegation at the Versailles Peace 
Conference in 1919. Sonnino retired in 1920 and was made a 
senator for life. He left two books dealing with his political 
life: Discorsi per la Guerra (1922) and Discorsi parlamentari 
(3 vol., 1925). 

bibliography: M. Viterbo, Sidney Sonnino (It., 1923); A. 
Savelli, S. Sonnino (It., 1923); C. Montalcini, Sidney Sonnino (It., 
1926). add. bibliography: G Haywood, Failure of a Dream: 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Sidney Sonnino and the Rise and the Fall of the Liberal Italy (1999); 

E. Minuto, Ilpartito dei parlamentari: Sidney Sonnino e le istituzioni 

rappresentative(i900-i9o6) (2004). 

[Giorgio Romano] 

SONNTAG, JACOB (1905-1984), Ukrainian-born editor and 
author. The son of a bookbinder, Sonntag was educated in 
Vienna and elsewhere in Central Europe, fleeing to England 
in 1938. He devoted himself to Anglo-Jewish cultural affairs 
and made repeated attempts to found a periodical for Jewish 
writers and artists. Sonntag finally succeeded with The Jew- 
ish Quarterly, which he founded in 1953. Edited almost single- 
handedly, it provided the main periodical venue in England 
for intelligent discussion of Jewish issues and published the 
early works of a range of distinguished Anglo-Jewish writers, 
including Dannie *Abse, Jon *Silkin, and Arnold *Wesker. It 
continued to be published after Sonntag's death. He also ed- 
ited the anthology Caravan (1962). 

bibliography: odnb online; R. Sonntag, "Jacob Sonntag: A 
Personal Memoir," in: S.W. Massil (ed.), The Jewish Year Book 200$, 


[William D. Rubinstein (2 nd ed.)] 

SON OF MAN (Heb. D"TK ]3; pi. DIK >3?, Aram. B% 13). 

In the Bible 

In the Bible the phrase "son of man," or "sons of man" (adam), 
is used as a synonym for a member of the human race, i.e., de- 
scendants of Adam. It occurs frequently in Psalms in the plu- 
ral, and the most cogent examples of its meaning are Psalms 
90:3, "Thou turnest man to contrition, and sayest, return, ye 
sons of man"; 115:16, "the heavens are the heavens of the Lord, 
but the earth hath He given to the sons of man"; and repeatedly 
in Psalm 107. In Psalm 49:3 a distinction is made between "the 
sons of Adam and the sons of Ish, rich and poor together," and 
it would appear that insofar as the two are distinct, the for- 
mer refers to the common man, while Ish refers to the upper 
strata (cf. Isa. 2:9 and 11). The phrase "son of man" is merely 
the singular of benei adam, and in the Bible has no theologi- 
cal or mystical connotation. It is most frequently used by 
Ezekiel, mostly as the form of address to him by God, where 
it occurs 79 times, and it seems, as is clear from chapter 33, 
that he wishes thereby to emphasize that he is possessed of no 
special qualities or powers different from those of any other 
person, except that he has been selected as the "watchman" 

of his people. 

[Louis Isaac Rabinowitz] 

Post- Biblical Concept 

The eschatological figure commonly identified with the Mes- 
siah occurs in chapter 7 of the Book of Daniel in a vision which 
is explained by the angel in a collective way as the holy ones 
of the most high, i.e., Israel or the pious among them. The au- 
thor of Daniel based himself upon a more ancient tradition 
according to which the title son of man was a designation of 
a special eschatological figure. This idea existed possibly by 
the third century b.c.e.; the designation "man" for messiah 

already occurs in the Greek translation of the Pentateuch (see 
^Messiah) of this period. 

The son of man is named "man" also in iv Ezra, and in 
Hebrew "son of man" and "man" is identical. In the whole 
literature in which it is mentioned, the son of man is always 
portrayed with the same economy of line. The son of man has 
a superhuman, heavenly sublimity. He is the cosmic judge at 
the end of time; seated upon the throne of God, he will judge 
the whole human race with the aid of the heavenly hosts, con- 
signing the just to blessedness and sinners to the pit of hell; 
and he will execute the sentence he passes. Frequently he is 
identified with the Messiah, as in the Book of Enoch, chapters 
37-71, and in 1 v Ezra. According to a later part of the Book of 
Enoch (ch. 71) the son of man is identified with Enoch him- 
self as the heavenly scribe. According to the apocryphal Testa- 
ment of Abraham the son of man is literally Adam's son Abel 
who was killed by the wicked Cain, for God desired that every 
man be judged by a man (the identification is based upon 
a verbal understanding that son of man in Hebrew is 
ben-Adam). Though in the Dead Sea Scrolls there were 
also other messianic concepts, the concept of son of man is 
also reflected in them. The eschatological figure occurring 
in the Thanksgiving Scroll (3, 5-18) resembles or is identi- 
cal with the son of man of other Jewish literature. In one of 
the fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls Melchizedek fig- 
ures as the judge at the end of time. In company with angels 
from on High he will judge man and the wicked spirits of 
Beliaal. Thus the son of man could be even identified with 
the biblical Melchizedek according to a mythical understand- 

The idea of son of man originated possibly from a mi- 
drashic interpretation of Ezekiel 1:26, "... and the likeness as 
the appearance of a man above upon it." In the Book of Enoch 
(46: 1, 2) the son of man is presented with similar words "with 
Him was another being whose countenance had the appear- 
ance of a man... And I asked the angel who went with me 
and showed me all the hidden things, concerning that son of 
man, who he was. . . ." 

Thus it seems that the concept preceded the final iden- 
tification of the son of man with the Messiah, which became 
common at the end of the Second Temple period. It was so 
applied in the time of Jesus, who used to speak of the son of 
man as the heavenly judge, and it seems that finally he iden- 
tified himself with this sublime figure. 

[David Flusser] 

bibliography: post-biblical concept: D. Flusser, in: 
Christian News from Israel (1966), 23-29; S. Mowinckel, He That Co- 
meth (1956); E. Sjoberg, Der Menschensohn in dem aethiopischen He- 
nochbuch (1946). 

SONS OF LIGHT (Heb. 1iX 'JJ, benei or), phrase used spe- 
cially in the *Dead Sea Scrolls denoting the godly, by con- 
trast with the phrase "sons of darkness" (Heb. ^"pU '31, benei 
hoshekh) denoting the ungodly. It is so used, notably in the 
*War Scroll, where "the sons of light put forth their hands 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



to make a beginning against the lot of the sons of darkness" 
(iqm 1:1). The "sons of light" are here particularized as "the 
sons of Levi, the sons of Judah, the sons of Benjamin, the 
dispersion of the wilderness"; the "sons of darkness" as the 
hosts of Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, Philistia, and the Kit- 
tim, aided by those who transgress the covenant. In the event 
described, the sons of light annihilate the sons of darkness. 
From the viewpoint of the Qumran community, the sons of 
light are members of the community and their sympathizers. 
On entry into membership the candidate swears "to love all 
the sons of light, each according to his lot in the council of 
God, and to hate the sons of darkness, each according to his 
guilt in the vengeance of God" (iqs 1:9-11). The apostate is 
to be "cut off from the midst of the sons of light" (iqs 2:16). 
The sons of light are so chosen through God's predestinating 
decree. When God created man, He appointed two spirits to 
govern him: "dominion over all the sons of righteousness is in 
the hand of the Prince of Lights, and they walk in the ways of 
light; all dominion over the sons of perversity is in the hand 
of the Angel of Darkness, and they walk in the ways of dark- 
ness" (iqs 3:20 if.). The Angel of Darkness, indeed, makes 
even the sons of light go astray, but they can count on the aid 
of "the God of Israel and the angel of His truth" (iqs 3:24ff.). 
The designation "sons of light" is one of the links between the 
Qumran texts and the New Testament; in the latter it is found 
on the lips of Jesus (Luke 16:8, where it is opposed to the "sons 
of this age", John 12:36) and in the Pauline writings (Eph. 5:8; 
I Thess. 5:5). In both bodies of literature the ultimate back- 
ground is the separation made by God in the beginning when 
He called light into being as the first of His creative works and 
separated it from the darkness (Gen. 1:3 ff). 

bibliography: A.R.C. Leaney, Rule of Qumran and Its Mean- 
ing (1966), 79 if., passim. 

[Frederick Fyvie Bruce] 

SONTAG, SUSAN (1933-2004), U.S. critic and author. Born 
in New York City, Susan Sontag taught philosophy and aes- 
thetics at the City College of New York, Sarah Lawrence Col- 
lege, and from 1961 to 1965 at Columbia University. 

Her first novel, The Benefactor, was published in 1963, 
but her reputation grew largely from her literary criticism, 
which appeared throughout the 1960s in a number of jour- 
nals and was collected in Against Interpretation (1966) and 
Styles of Radical Will (1969). Consciously avant-gardist, it ar- 
gued for a purely formalistic approach to literary values, while 
at the same time seeking to reconcile this position with her 
left-wing political views. A second novel, Death Kit (1967), 
was concerned, like her first, with the relation between illu- 
sion and reality. She also wrote and directed a movie, Duet 
for Cannibals (1969). Later works include plays, among them 
Alice in Bed: A Play in Eight Scenes (1993). In addition to sto- 
ries and essays, Sontag has written books that include the 
1992 novel The Volcano Lover: A Romance. A selection of her 
writings was collected in the 1982 A Susan Sontag Reader. In 
her capacity as literary critic she has edited Antonin Artaud: 

Selected Writings (1988) and A Barthes Reader (1982). Her re- 
flection on the relationships amongst photography, history, 
and perception, On Photography, appeared in 1977. Her own 
battle with cancer led her to write Illness as Metaphor (1978), 
followed in 1989 with a complementary study, Aids and Its 
Metaphors. In 2000, her sweeping novel of late 19 th century 
America, and the fortunes of Maryna Zalezowska, was pub- 
lished with the title In America: A Novel. It received the Na- 
tional Book Award. Conversations with Susan Sontag, edited 
by Leland Pogue, appeared in 1995. 

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sci- 
ences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Son- 
tag has been the recipient of many awards including the 1978 
American National Book Critics prize. She was created Offi- 
cier de l'Ordre des Artes et des Lettres in France in 1984. 

add. bibliography: L. Kennedy, Susan Sontag: Mind as 
Passion (1995); C. Rollyson, Reading Susan Sontag: A Critical In- 
troduction to Her Work (2001); S. Sayres, Susan Sontag: the Elegiac 
Modernist (1990). 

[Rohan Saxena and Lewis Fried (2 nd ed.)] 

SOP RON (Ger. Oedenburg), city in W. Hungary on the Aus- 
trian border, within proximity of the "Seven Communities" of 
*Burgenland. Jews were living there during the 14 th century, 
according to the prevailing custom in a "Jewish street." Their 
residence in Sopron was guaranteed by King Charles Robert 
in 1324. The land registry records of 1379 show that 27 houses 
were owned by Jews. After King Louis the Great expelled 
the Jews in 1360, those who lived in the town left for nearby 
* Wiener Neustadt in Austria, where some of them made their 
fortune and became well-known financiers. When Louis au- 
thorized their return in 1365, their houses were transferred to 
Christian ownership. During their absence the debts owed to 
them were canceled by Rudolf, prince of Austria, upon the 
request of the citizens of Sopron. Upon their return the Jews 
demanded that the validity of their promissory notes be rec- 
ognized, but the townsmen succeeded in revoking them. 

Their situation did not improve until the reign of Mat- 
thias Corvinus, when the office of *Praefectus Judaeorum was 
established. From 1495 a special tax was imposed on the Jews 
by the governor of the town until in 1523 the king took them 
under his protection. The Jews then numbered 400. Rabbis 
of Sopron at the close of the 14 th century were R. Meir (men- 
tioned in Sefer ha-Minhagim) and R. Judah (mentioned in the 
Shalshelet ha-Kabbalah as a distinguished scholar in the Ger- 
manic countries). Fifteen codices recently discovered attest 
the erudition of the Jewish scholars of Sopron. 

When the whole of Hungary was conquered by the Turks 
in 1526, the Jews were expelled from the town "forever." They 
infiltrated back into Sopron in the 18 th century but its gates 
remained closed to them until freedom of residence was au- 
thorized by law in 1840. In 1855, 180 Jews were living there. 
New settlers came mainly from the "Seven Communities" 
of Burgenland where they had lived under the protection of 
the Eszterhazy family from the 16 th century. The municipal 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


council of Sopron again attempted to oppose them, and in 
1858 anti- Jewish riots broke out in the town; these were sup- 
pressed by the central authorities. In 1857 the Jews were au- 
thorized to organize themselves as a community but they did 
not possess a cemetery or synagogue. In 1862 the municipal 
council prevented the community from purchasing land for 
a cemetery and the Jews were compelled to acquire an estate 
for this purpose (1869). A synagogue was erected in 1876, and 
in 1884 a school was built. The community remained ^status 
quo ante after the schism in Hungarian Jewry of 1868-69 ( see 
* Hungary). In 1868 L. Alt was appointed rabbi of Sopron but 
he was dismissed in 1872. It was only 20 years later that M. 
*Pollak was appointed as the first, and also the last, rabbi of the 
status quo ante community (1894-1944). An Orthodox com- 
munity was organized in 1872; its rabbi was Menahem Gruen- 
wald (1872-1930). A talmud torah was established in 1874, and 
a yeshivah was founded in 1917 by S. Posen, the rabbi of the 
town (1930-44), who later settled in the United States. 

The Jewish population numbered 1,152 in 1881; 1,632 in 
1891; 2,255 m 1910; 2,483 in 1920; and 1,885 hi 1930. They were 
mainly occupied as merchants, and included industrialists 
and contractors, as well as a number of craftsmen and mem- 
bers of the liberal professions. The anti- Jewish tradition in the 
town continued and its German inhabitants rapidly adopted 
the theory of racism. 

Holocaust and Contemporary Periods 

During World War 11, after the German occupation (March 19, 
1944), the Jews, numbering 1,861 in 1941, were confined in a 
ghetto. On July 5, around 3,000, including Jews from the sur- 
rounding area, were deported to the death camp at Auschwitz. 
Only a few returned. Even after the deportation, the inhab- 
itants of Sopron did not help to alleviate the suffering of the 
thousands of Jews from the forced labor camps who passed 
through the town on their last halt before being sent to the 
death camps in Germany. 

After World War 11, only 274 Jews remained in Sopron 
(1946), and only 47 in 1970. 

bibliography: M. Pollak, A zsidok tortenete Sopronban 

(1896) = Geschichte derjuden in Oedenburg (1929); S. Scheiber, Heber 

kodexmaradvdnyok magyarorszdgi kotestdbldkban (1969); idem, Mag- 

yaroszdgi zsido feliratok (i960); Magyar Zsido Lexikon (1929), 798-801; 

mhj, 6 (1961), index; 11 (1968), index; F. Grunvald, in: miok evkonyv 

(1970), 52-64. 

[Baruch Yaron] 

SORAUER, PAUL KARL MORITZ (1839-1916), German 
plant pathologist. Sorauer was born in Breslau, the son of a 
cabinet maker, and after studying horticulture went to Berlin 
for further training in plant physiology. In 1872 he was ap- 
pointed director of an experimental station for plant physiol- 
ogy at Proskau. He was given the rank of professor in 1892, but 
was obliged to relinquish his post the following year because of 
a long-standing eye ailment. He moved to Berlin and lectured 
for a time at the Humboldt Academy. At the age of 63 he was 
made a Privatdozent at the University of Berlin. 

Sorauer was the author of many publications on plant 
diseases, which bear the stamp of his unique amalgam of prac- 
tical knowledge and physiological science. He was the founder 
of the Zeitschrift fuer Pflanzenkrankheiten, established in 1891. 
A major work was his Handbuch der Pflanzenkrankheiten, first 
published in 1874, which went through three editions. Sorauer 
was an influential teacher, and trained a large number of Euro- 
pean plant pathologists. 

bibliography: Zeitschrift fuer Pflanzenkrankheiten, 26 

(1916), 6-17. 

[Mordecai L. Gabriel] 

SORCERY. First and foremost among the "abhorrent prac- 
tices of the nations" mentioned in the Bible are the various 
forms of sorcery: "let no one be found among you who. . . is an 
augur, a soothsayer, a diviner, a sorcerer, one who casts spells, 
one who consults ghosts or familiar spirits, or one who in- 
quires of the dead. For anyone who does such things is abhor- 
rent to the Lord" (Deut. 18:9-14). ^Divination and soothsaying 
(Lev. 19:26) and the turning to ghosts and spirits (Lev. 19:31 and 
20:27) na d been proscribed separately before, and witchcraft 
in general is outlawed with the lapidary "Thou shaft not suffer 
a witch to live" (Ex. 22:17). ft was to be the characteristic of Ju- 
daism that nothing would be achieved by * magic, but every- 
thing by the will and spirit of God: hence the confrontations 
of Joseph and the magicians of Egypt (Gen. 41), of Moses and 
Aaron and Egyptian sorcerers (Ex. 7), of Daniel and the Baby- 
lonian astrologers (Dan. 2), etc., and hence also the classifica- 
tion of crimes of sorcery as tantamount to idolatrous crimes 
of human sacrifices (Deut. 18:10) and to idolatrous sacrifices 
in general (Ex. 22: 19) and its visitation, just as idolatry itself, 
with death by stoning (Lev. 20:27; see ^Capital Punishment). 
In a God-fearing Israel, there is no room for augury and sor- 
cery (Num. 23:23; Isa. 8:19), and the presence of astrologers 
(Isa. 47:13) and fortune-tellers is an indication of godlessness 
(Nah. 3:4; Ezek. 13:20-23; et al.). Nonetheless, magic practices 
remained widespread throughout, and not only with idolaters 
(see, e.g., 1 Sam. 28:4-20; 11 Kings 18:4; Chron. 33:6). 

Talmudic law differentiated between capital and non- 
capital sorcery, retaining the death penalty only for those spe- 
cies for which the Bible expressly enjoined it, namely witch- 
craft (kishuf; Ex. 22:17) an d conjuring a death (ov and yidoni; 
Lev. 20:27; Sanh. 7:4). Kishuf is nowhere exactly defined, but 
a distinction is drawn between actual witchcraft, committed 
by some overt and consummate act which resulted in mis- 
chief, and then punishable, and the mere pretense at witchcraft 
which, however unlawful and prohibited, is not punishable 
(Sanh. 7:11 and 67b). Witchcraft appears to have been wide- 
spread among women (cf. Avot 2:7), and Simeon b. Shetah is 
reported to have ordered the execution of 80 witches in Ash- 
kelon on a single day as an emergency measure (Sanh. 6:4 
and Maimonides in his commentary thereto). It is witchcraft 
that makes for the devastation of the world (Sot. 9:13). All 
other species of sorcery are painstakingly defined in talmudic 
sources, apparently upon patterns of contemporary pagan us- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



age. Thus, ov conjures the dead to speak through his armpit, 
while yidoni makes them speak through his mouth (Sanh. 7:7), 
both using bones of the dead in the process (Sanh. 65b). The 
aggravating circumstance, deserving of capital punishment, 
obviously is the use of human remains for purposes of sorcery, 
for he who simply communicates with the dead (in cemeteries 
or elsewhere) and serves as their mouthpiece (doresh el ha-me- 
tim) is punishable with flogging only (Yad, Avodat Kokhavim 
11:13) _ ana " this would, presumably, apply also to modern spir- 
itualism (DaatKoheriy no. 69). Other offenses punishable with 
flogging (both for committing and soliciting them) are nihush, 
defined as superstitions based on certain happenings or cir- 
cumstances (Sanh. 65b; Yad, Avodat Kokhavim 11:4); kesem, 
being fortune- telling from sands, stones, and the like (Maim., 
loc. cit. 11:6); onanut (done by the mebneri), being astrological 
forecasts of fortunes (R. Akiva in Sanh. 65b; Maim. loc. cit. 
11:8); and hever, the incantation of magic and unintelligible 
formulae for purposes of healing or of casting spells (Maim, 
loc. cit. 11:10). It is presumably because these practices were 
so widespread that it was postulated that judges must have a 
thorough knowledge of magic and astrology (Sanh. 17a; Maim. 
Yad, Sanhedrin 2:1; and see *bet din). 

While there is no information about the measure of law 
enforcement in this field in talmudic and pre-talmudic times, 
it seems certain that this branch of the law fell into disuse in 
the Middle Ages. Superstitions of all kinds not only flourished 
and were tolerated, but found their way even into the positive 
law (see yd 179, passim, for at least eight instances). What be- 
came known as "practical Kabbalah" is, legally speaking, sor- 
cery at its worst. The penal provisions relating to sorcery are 
a living illustration of the unenforceability of criminal law 
(whether divine or human) which is out of tune with the prac- 
tices and concepts of the people. In modern Israeli law, witch- 
craft and related practices are instances of unlawful false pre- 
tenses for obtaining money or credit (Penal Law Amendment 
(Deceit, Blackmail, and Extortion), Law, 5723 - 1963). 

See also ^Divination; *Magic. 

bibliography: A.Lods, La croyance a la vie future et le culte 
des morts dans I antiquite Israelite (Thesis, Paris, 1906); L. Blau, Das al- 
tjuedische Zauberwesen (1914 2 ); I.S. Zuri, Mishpat ha-Talmud, 6 (1921), 
91; M. Gaster, Studies and Texts in Folklore, Magic, Medieval Romance, 
Hebrew Apocrypha and Samaritan Archaeology, 3 vols. (1925-28); 
A. Berliner, Aus dem Leben der Juden Deutschlands im Mittelalter 
(1937), 72-83; em, 1 (1950), 135-37; 2 (1954), 7iof; 4 (1962), 348-65; 

ET, 1 (1951 3 ), II3-16; 7 (1956), 245-48. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. 

Elon, Ha-Mishpat ha-Ivri (1988), 1:424; 2:987; idem, Jewish Law (1994), 
2:519-20; 3:1193; M. Elon and B. Lifshitz, Mafteah ha-Sheelot ve-ha-Tes- 
huvot shel Hakhmei Sefarad u-Zefon Afrikah (legal digest) (1986), 2:340; 
Enziklopedyah Talmudit, vol.i, s.v. "Ov," 244-49; vol.i, s.v. "ahizat ein- 
ayim" 460-63; vol. 5, s.v. "doresh el ha-metim" 245-48; vol.7, s - v - "dark- 
hei ha-Emori," 706-12; vol.13, s - v - "hover haver" 1-4; index. 

[Haim Hermann Cohn] 

SOREK, VALLEY OF (Heb. j?W ^03, Nahal Sorek; from the 
root p*W y "red grapes"), valley on the border of Philistia and 
the territory of the tribe of Dan. The only biblical reference 

to it places the meeting of Samson and Delilah there (Judg. 
16:4). It is generally identified with Wadi al-Sarar, present-day 
Nahal Sorek, near which are the ruins of Byzantine Chaparso- 
rech (Eusebius, Onom. 160:2), now Khirbat Surayk. The Sorek 
Valley was one of the main approaches into the mountains of 
Judah and several important cities, such as Ekron (Khirbat 
Mukanna c ) and Beth-Shemesh, were situated along it. At pres- 
ent, the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv railway runs in the valley. 

bibliography: Abel, Geog, 1 (1933), 405; 2 (1938), 96. 

[Michael Avi-Yonah] 

SORGHUM, the summer plant Sorghum cernicum y called in 
Arabic durra or doh'n. The Arabs of Israel sow it extensively, 
both for fodder and for flour, from which they make pittah 
("flat bread"). It is thought to have been introduced into Erez 
Israel only during the time of the Second Temple. According 
to Pliny (Natural History 18:55), a plant resembling Millium 
("*millet"), which has large kernels, was brought to Rome 
from India during his time, and the reference seems to be to 
sorghum. It is possible that the plant reached Babylon at an 
earlier date, for it would appear to be identical with the dohan 
from which Ezekiel made the mixed bread he ate for a period 
of 390 days (Ezek. 4:9). Some think that Panicum ("millet") is 
meant here, but millet is the peragim of the Mishnah. In rab- 
binic literature dohan is mentioned with *rice and peragim as 
a summer crop (Shev. 2:7, et al.) from which bread was some- 
times made, but since these are not included in the *five spe- 
cies of grain they are not treated as bread with respect to the 
laws of *hallah y blessings, and leaven on Passover (Hal. 1:4; Ber. 
37a). Bread made of sorghum was regarded as less tasty than 
that made from rice (Er. 81a). Today the red-seeded sorghum 
brought from California is cultivated by Jews in Israel. Some 
species of sorghum grow wild there. 

bibliography: Loew, Flora, 1 (1926), 738-46; H.N. and A.L. 

Moldenke, Plants of the Bible (1952), index; J. Feliks, Olam ha-Zomeah 

ha-Mikra'i (1968 2 ), 154-5. 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

SORIA, city in Old Castile, N. central *Spain. The Jewish com- 
munity of Soria was a major cultural and religious center in 
Castile. Nothing is known about the beginnings of the Jew- 
ish settlement in Soria. During the 12 th century the Jews there 
benefited from a number of rights which were mentioned in 
several articles of the town fuero ("charter"). This also included 
regulations concerning jurisdiction over, and protection of, 
the merchants who came to trade in Soria. At first, the Jew- 
ish quarter was situated in a fortress, where about 50 families 
lived during the middle of the 13 th century and throughout 
the 14 th . (At that time there were 700 families in the town.) In 
the 13 th century the community was very well organized. Jews 
continued to live there until the expulsion. During the second 
half of the 13 th century, Soria was renowned for its kabbalists. 
According to tradition, * Jacob ha-Kohen was born there. To- 
ward the close of the 13 th and early 14 th century, Shem Tov b. 
Abraham *Ibn Gaon lived in Soria; there was also a school of 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Jewish illuminators who were members of this family and il- 
luminated the famous Kennicott n and Sassoon 82 bibles, both 
in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. It was in Soria that Moses 
Narboni completed his commentary on the Guide of the Per- 
plexed. Joseph *Albo, originally from Daroca in Aragon, lived 
there for many years and died there. 

The 39,895 maravedis levy imposed on the Soria commu- 
nity in 1290 is an indication of its economic strength. Accord- 
ing to an estimate of F. Cantera, there were over 1,000 Jews 
living in the town at the close of the 13 th century. Their occu- 
pations included trade, the cultivation of vineyards, and crafts. 
During the civil war (c. 1366-69) between the brothers Pedro 
the Cruel and Henry of Trastamara, one of the tax farmers of 
Soria, Samuel ibn Shoshan, joined Pedro's camp and was com- 
pelled to flee from the kingdom after Henrys victory. 

Although devastated by the persecutions of 1391 (see 
*Spain), the community appears to have recovered gradually, 
and in 1397 they were granted certain rights in respect of their 
quarter in the fortress by Henry in. A leader in the rehabilita- 
tion of the community was Don Abraham *Benveniste, who 
organized a convention of the delegates of the communities 
of Castile in Valladolid in 1432. In the 15 th century, Soria was 
among the most important communities in Castile. Around 
300 Jewish families lived in the city, constituting around 20% 
of the population. They were merchants, moneylenders, and 
artisans. Several of the inhabitants of Soria were important tax 
farmers. In 1465, Henry iv exempted the Jews of Soria from 
some taxes in appreciation of their services to the crown. Since 
the tax imposition in 1474 was 5,000 maravedis, it would ap- 
pear that the community no longer ranked among the largest 
and wealthiest. In 1490, however, it paid 80,915 maravedis. The 
anti- Jewish policy adopted by the crown from the 1470s was 
felt in Soria by the restriction of the Jews to a special quarter 
and by the actions and attitude of the municipal council vis- 
a-vis the local Jews. In 1485, a levy of 308,000 maravedis was 
imposed on ten Jews of Soria to cover the expenses of the war 
against Granada. During the same year Ferdinand and Isa- 
bella authorized the Jews to maintain workshops and shops 
in various quarters of the town on the condition that they did 
not work on the Christian festivals and did not eat or sleep in 
these quarters. At the time of the expulsion of the Jews from 
Castile (1492) some Jews of Soria left for the kingdom of Na- 
varre and most of them for Portugal. The crown ordered that 
debts still owed to Don Isaac *Abrabanel and other Jews in 
Soria be collected for them. 

From the very beginning, and until the expulsion, the 

Jews of Soria lived in the fortress. The fortress has disappeared 

and on its grounds there is a park. 

bibliography: Baer, Spain, index; Baer, Urkunden, index; 
J. Weill, in: rej, 74 (1922), 98-103; F. Cantera Burgos, in: Sefarad, 16 
(1956), 125-9; Suarez Fernandez, Documentos, index, add. bibli- 
ography: F. Cantera Burgos, in: Revista de dialetogiay tradiciones 
populares, 32 (1976), 87-102; idem, in: Homenaje a Fray Justo Perez 
de Urbel, osb, vol. 1 (1976-7), 445-82; D. Gonzalo Maeso, in: Celti- 
beria, 56 (1978), 153-68; E. Cantera Montenegro, in: Anuario de estu- 
dios medievales, 13 (1983), 583-99; M. Diago Hernando, in: Sefarad, 

51 (1991), 259-97; J- Edwards, in: Past & Present-, 120 (1988/0, 3-25; 
idem, in: Peamim, 48 (1991), 42-53 (Heb.)). 

[Haim Beinart / Yom Tov Assis (2 nd ed.)] 

SORKIN, AARON (1961- ), U.S. writer-producer. Born in 
Manhattan and raised in Scarsdale, New York, Sorkin began 
acting in the eighth grade and in high school he joined the 
school drama club. He studied theater at Syracuse University, 
graduating with a bachelors degree in 1983. While trying to 
break into acting in New York, Sorkin began writing plays. 
His first, Removing Doubt, was unsuccessful, but Hidden in 
This Picture (1988) was staged at the West Bank Cafe Down- 
stairs Theater Bar in New York. His next play, A Few Good 
Men (1992), was inspired by his sister, who had gone to the 
U.S. Marine base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to arbitrate a 
murder case. The play appeared on Broadway, and Sorkin was 
hired to write the screenplay for the motion picture starring 
Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise. In 1993, he helped write the 
screenplay for Malice, and was invited by Stephen ^Spielberg to 
help polish the script for Schindlers List. He took two years to 
write the screenplay for The American President (1995), which 
earned him a Golden Globe nomination. During this time 
Sorkin admitted to a cocaine problem, for which he sought 
treatment at the Hazelden Institute in Minnesota. Sorkin took 
inspiration from espn s Sportscenter for his first foray into 
television, abc's Sports Night (1998-2000), which was favor- 
ably reviewed by critics but never found its audience. In 1999, 
he debuted his Emmy Award-winning show about the White 
House, nbc s The West Wing, which featured Sorkin's trade- 
mark rapid-fire dialogue. Tensions over budgets and produc- 
tion delays grew between Sorkin and Warner Brothers, which 
produced West Wing, leading to Sorkin's departure from the 

show after the season finale in 2003. 

[Adam Wills (2 nd ed.)] 

SORKIN, MICHAEL (1948- ), U.S. urbanist and architec- 
tural critic. Sorkin received his training at Harvard and mit. 
For seven years he wrote for the Village Voice, a New York 
newspaper, and later became director of the Graduate Urban 
Design Program at the City College of New York. From 1993 
to 2000 he was professor of urbanism and director of the In- 
stitute of Urbanism at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. 
He taught at numerous schools, including Cooper Union, Co- 
lumbia, Yale (holding both the Davenport and Bishop Chairs), 
Harvard, Cornell (Gensler Chair), Nebraska (Hyde Chair), Il- 
linois, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Minnesota. Sorkin is the prin- 
cipal of the Michael Sorkin Studio in New York City. This small 
firm specializes in urban designs both practical and theoretical 
and does not wait for clients to come with their requests but 
takes the lead in tackling projects that are sometimes visionary, 
such as planning for a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. 
This project was an outgrowth of a conference he organized 
"to bring Palestinian, Israeli, and other architects and urban- 
ists together to discus the future of the city in physical terms, 
via the medium of a design proposal. The assumption was that 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



there were certain issues - the environment, neighborhood de- 
velopment, transportation, sprawl - that could be discussed 
outside the discourse of politics." Quickly, after the World 
Trade disaster in New York City, Sorkin, together with Sharon 
Zukin and 17 of New York's best urbanists studied the attack 
and its aftermath. They dealt with the history of neighborhood 
conflicts in New York and predicted many of the struggles be- 
tween various interests that have rendered the rebuilding of 
the site problematic. In 2002 he edited Variations on a Theme 
Park, The Next Jerusalem: Sharing the Divided City, and After 
The World Trade Center: Rethinking New York City. 

[Betty R. Rubenstein (2 nd ed.)] 

SOROKI (Rom. Soroca), city in N. Moldova, in the region of 
Bessarabia. The first mention of Jewish settlement in Soroki is 
in 1657. However, information concerning an organized com- 
munity there only dates from the beginning of the 18 th century. 
In 1817 there were 157 Jewish families. In the early 19 th century, 
R. David Solomon Eibenschutz served as rabbi and encour- 
aged the study of To rah in the city. The community grew in the 
19 th century with the Jewish immigration to Bessarabia, and 
at the end of the century, also with the frequent expulsions of 
Jews from the neighboring border area and from the villages. 
In 1864, 4,135 Jews were registered in Soroki and in 1897 there 
were 8,783 Jews (57.2% of the total population). In 1863 a gov- 
ernment Jewish school was opened. At the end of the century 
among the teachers in Soroki were the writers Noah Rosen- 
blum, and Kadish-Isaac Abramowich-Ginzburg, who laid the 
foundations of a new system of Jewish education and culture 
among the Jews of the town on a secular and national basis. 
Many of the Jews of Soroki engaged in agriculture, primarily in 
the growing of tobacco, grapes, and other fruit. In 1900 the Jew- 
ish Colonization * Association established a training farm near 
Soroki. From the 1880s the economic situation of the Jews dete- 
riorated and a wave of immigration to the United States began. 
In 1930 there were 5,462 Jews (36.3% of the entire population). 
Before World War 11 several educational and social institutions 
existed in Soroki, including Hebrew elementary and secondary 
schools, a hospital (founded in 1885), and an old-age home. The 
community was destroyed with the entry of the Germans and 
Romanians into Bessarabia in July 1941. The Jewish life of Soroki 
is described by Shelomo Hillels in the novel, Har ha-Keramim 
(1930). In the late 1960s the Jewish population was estimated at 
about 1,000. The only synagogue was closed down by the au- 
thorities in 1961. In April 1966 the matzah bakery was closed 
down by the authorities, the bakers were arrested, and the bak- 
ing of matzah was discontinued. Use of the cemetery and ritual 
poultry slaughtering were still permitted in 1970. 

bibliography: S. Hillels, in: Pirkei Bessarabyah, 1 (1952), 
94-120; E. Feldman, Toledot ha-Yehudim be-Bessarabyah (1963), in- 
cludes summary in English. 

[Eliyahu Feldman] 

SOROS, GEORGE (1931- ), financier and philanthropist. 
Born in Hungary, Soros spent a year as a child in hiding dur- 

ing the Holocaust. In 1947 after the communist takeover, he 
moved with his family to Britain. He studied at the London 
School of Economics, subsequently moving to New York. 
There he worked as a Wall Street trader but in 1969 established 
the Quantum Fund, that eventually would invest billions of 
dollars in various parts of the world. The Soros Foundation, 
described as the world's largest philanthropy, distributes more 
than $300 million annually in over 60 countries. 

On September 16, 1992 (subsequently referred to as 
"Black Wednesday"), Soros, as a currency speculator, "broke 
the Bank of England" by placing a hedge bet that the uk would 
devalue the pound sterling. This audacious act earned him one 
billion dollars in a single day. 

Much of Soros' activities are directed to Eastern Europe, 
where in 1992 he founded and funded the Central European 
University, with branches in Budapest and Prague. In 1993 and 
1994 he provided one-third of Russia's scientific research bud- 
get. In 1993 he set up the Quantum Emerging Growth Fund 
to invest in Third World countries. In 1993 he also created the 
Open Society Institute (osi), of which he was chairman. A pri- 
vate operating and grant-making foundation, the osi works 
to support the Soros foundations worldwide and strives to 
shape public policy to promote democratic governance, hu- 
man rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. 

Soros is the author of Alchemy of Finance (1987); Open- 
ing the Soviet System (1990); Underwriting Democracy (1991); 
Soros on Soros: Staying Ahead of the Curve (1995); The Crisis 
of Global Capitalism (1998); Open Society (2000); George So- 
ros on Globalization (2002); and The Bubble of American Su- 
premacy: The Cost of Bush's War in Iraq (2004). 

bibliography: Time (July io, 1995), 32-38; R. Slater, Soros: 
The Life, Times, and Trading Secrets of the Worlds Greatest Investor 
(1996); M. Kaufman Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billion- 
aire (2003). 

[Ruth BelofF (2 nd ed.)] 

Lithuanian rabbi and communal leader. Sorotzkin was born 
in Zakhrina, Russia, where his father was rabbi. After studying 
under his father, he proceeded to the yeshivot of *Slobodka 
and *Volozhin. His renown as a brilliant student came to the 
attention of Eliezer ^Gordon, the head of the yeshivah of Telz, 
whose daughter he married. After his marriage he studied for 
several years in Volozhin. On returning to Telz he undertook 
the administration of the yeshivah, displaying great organiza- 
tional ability. The yeshivah building was destroyed by a con- 
flagration, and he succeeded in rebuilding it within a short 
time. In 1911, after the death of his father-in-law, he was invited 
to serve as rabbi in the small town of Voronovo (Werenow), 
near Vilna, where he founded a yeshivah for young students. 
After some years he was appointed rabbi of Zittel in Lithu- 
ania, where he also developed extensive communal activi- 
ties, particularly in founding an educational network. After 
the outbreak of World War 1, he was forced to wander with 
his family into Russia and arrived in Minsk. There he devoted 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


himself to public activity and vigorously opposed the false 
charges and discriminatory decrees against the Jews, which 
were constantly being issued by the czarist government. After 
the war he returned to Zittel, but shortly afterward was ap- 
pointed rabbi of Lutsk, capital of Volhynia (then in Poland), 
which had a Jewish community of 30,000, and he remained 
there until the outbreak of World War 11. During his rabbinate 
in Lutsk he became renowned as one of the outstanding Pol- 
ish rabbis and was one of the leaders of Agudat Israel and of 
Orthodox Jewry generally. When Lutsk was occupied by the 
Russians after the outbreak of World War 11, they threatened 
to imprison him if he continued his activities. He was com- 
pelled to flee with his family to Vilna, where Hayyim Ozer 
Grodzinski, rabbi of Vilna, charged him with reorganizing 
the many yeshivot, most of whose students had escaped to 
Lithuania. He remained in Vilna until the entry of the Rus- 
sian army, when he left, and after many vicissitudes finally 
arrived in Erez Israel. 

There he threw himself into communal work. He estab- 
lished the Va'ad ha- Yeshivot charged with the care of the ye- 
shivot in Israel on the model of the Vilna Va'ad ha- Yeshivot 
(of which he had been one of the founders), and he headed it 
until his death. He was elected vice chairman of the Mo'ezet 
Gedolei ha-Torah of Agudat Israel, and after the death of Isser 
Zalman *Meltzer served as its chairman, a position he held 
until his death. He also headed the independent educational 
network (Hinnukh Azma'i) set up by Agudat Israel. Sorotzkin 
was an outstanding preacher, and many of his homilies appear 
in his work Ha-Deah ve-ha-Dibbur (1937), on the Pentateuch. 
Toward the close of his life he published Oznayim la-Torah 
(1951-60), a commentary on the Pentateuch, and Moznayim 
la-Mishpat (1955), a collection of responsa in two parts. Some 
of his responsa are still in manuscript. His commentary Ha- 
Shir ve-ha-Shevah on the Passover Haggadah (1971) was pub- 
lished posthumously. 

bibliography: Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin... (Heb., 1967). 

[Itzhak Goldshlag] 

SOSIS, ISRAEL (1878-after 1936), Russian historian. Sosis, 
born in Balta, southern Russia, joined the *Bund, and took 
part in the Russian Revolution of 1905. He contributed to the 
party's publications and was imprisoned several times for rev- 
olutionary activities. During World War 1 Sosis was active in 
*yekopo. He published articles on the history of social classes 
in Russian Jewry in Yevreyskaya Starina (1914-16). With the 
left wing of the Bund, he joined the Communist Party after the 
1917 Revolution. From 1924 he lectured on Jewish history at the 
Institute for White- Russian Culture in Minsk, and published 
articles on the history of Lithuanian and White-Russian Jews 
in Russian-Jewish periodicals. Sosis' main work, "The History 
of Jewish Social Trends in Russia in the 19 th Century" (1919), 
though Marxist in outlook and method, did not slavishly fol- 
low the official Soviet historiographical line, and showed some 
objectivity and national Jewish feeling. The "deviations" led 
to his transfer, in 1930, to the Institute for Jewish- Proletarian 

Culture in Kiev. When the institute was closed in 1936, Sosis 
was arrested and his fate remains unknown. 

bibliography: Rejzen, Leksikon, 2 (1927), 602-4; B. Shohet- 
man, in: ks, 8 (1931/32), 343-6; Greenbaum, Jewish Scholarship in So- 
viet Russia (1959); lnyl, 6 (1965), 303-5. 

[Yehuda Slutsky] 

°SOSIUS, GAIUS, Roman general, governor of Syria, and 
conqueror of Jerusalem in 37 b.c.e. After the Parthian con- 
quest of Judea and the consequent appointment of *Antigonus 
the Hasmonean to the throne in Jerusalem (40 b.c.e.), Herod 
made his way to Rome and was recognized by Antony and the 
senate as king of Judea. He returned to Palestine at the head 
of a considerable force but was eventually forced to turn to 
Antony for assistance in subduing the country. After his con- 
quest of Samosata, Antony appointed Sosius governor of Syria, 
with orders to support Herod. Sosius immediately sent two 
legions and himself followed with the remainder of his army. 
He joined forces with Herod. The two laid siege to Jerusalem in 
the spring of 37 (although certain discrepancies exist regard- 
ing the precise date of the siege and fall of Jerusalem; cf. Jos., 
Ant., 14:475 n. a, p. 694; A. Schalit, Hordos ha-Melekh (1964), 
509-11). The ensuing battle appears to have been fierce, and 
Josephus stresses that Jerusalem fell - as in the conquest by 
Pompey - "on the day of the fast." Scholars have interpreted 
this to mean either the Day of Atonement or the Sabbath (ac- 
cording to Dio Cassius, 49:22), but it is also possible that the 
reference is to a special fast declared at the time of the siege 
to arouse divine intercession (cf. Schalit, op. cit., 510). On the 
fall of the city Antigonus came before Sosius and begged for 
mercy, only to be jeered at for his tragic change of fortune by 
the Roman general who, after calling the Jewish leader "Anti- 
gone," had him put in chains and eventually put to death. So- 
sius furthermore explicitly instructed his soldiers to plunder 
the city, and after perpetrating a terrible massacre they were 
finally restrained only by Herod, who promised to distribute 
to them rewards from his own funds. 

bibliography: Jos., Wars, 1:327, 345-57; 5:398, 408-9; idem, 
Ant., 14:447, 468-9, 481-8; Schuerer, Gesch, 1 (1901 3 ), 357-9. 

[Isaiah Gafni] 

!979)> British politician. Soskice was born in Geneva, the son 

of DAVID VLADIMIROVICH SOSKICE (1866-1941), a Jewish 

lawyer and journalist from the Ukraine who was an impor- 
tant liberal activist against the czarist regime and was briefly 
an official of the Kerensky government. He lived in England 
for most of the period after 1898. Frank Soskice's mother was 
a gentile, the niece of the Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Mad- 
dox Brown. Soskice was educated at St. Paul's School and Ox- 
ford. He became a barrister in 1926, the same year he became a 
naturalized British subject. In 1945 he was appointed a kc and 
was also elected to Parliament as a Labour member, serving 
until 1966, although briefly losing his seat in 1950 and 1955-56. 
Upon entering Parliament he was immediately appointed so- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



licitor- general, with a knighthood, and was regarded as an able 
holder of this post. When Labour returned to power in 1965, 
Harold * Wilson appointed him to the senior post of home 
secretary. Soskice, in poor health, was not successful in this 
position and was moved to the office of Lord Privy Seal, but 
still with a seat in the cabinet, in 1965. He retired in 1966 and 
was given a life peerage. 

bibliography: odnb online. 

[William D. Rubinstein (2 nd ed.)] 

SOSKIN, SELIG EUGEN (1873-1959), pioneer agronomist 
and politician. Soskin was born in Churubash in the Crimea, 
Russia, but settled in Palestine (1896) where he served as plan- 
tation expert for Hovevei Zion. Together with Aaron *Aaron- 
sohn, he explored the country and conducted agricultural 
experiments. He was a member of the Zionist Inquiry Com- 
mission on the * El-Arish project (1903) and he served as ag- 
ricultural adviser in German South West Africa (1906-15). He 
was director of the settlement department in the central office 
of the Jewish National Fund, then in The Hague (1918-23). 
Soskin advocated intensive farming on small irrigated plots, 
as opposed to the "mixed" farming on larger units practiced 
by the Zionist Organization. In 1934 he founded Nahariyyah, 
where he established an experimental intensive farm. Soskin 
advocated growing plants in water (hydroponics) or in satu- 
rated soil, and in 1945 he founded an experimental station in 
hydroponics in Ramat Gan. 

In 1926 Soskin joined the Revisionist movement and be- 
came its spokesman on agricultural settlement. From 1927 he 
acted as political representative of the Union of Zionist Revi- 
sionists to the League of Nations in Geneva. After the split in 
the Revisionist movement (1933), he joined the Jewish State 
party. He held controversial views on the importance of land 
exchange to enable the Jewish state to build up its holding of 
national land under the proposals of the Peel Commission. 
He published many studies on his work in Africa and Pales- 
tine including Small Holding and Irrigation (1920), Intensive 
Cultivation and Close Settlement (1926), The Escape from the 
Impasse (1927), and Land settlement in Palestine (1929). 

[Joseph Ben-Shlomo / Michael Denman (2 nd ed.)] 

SOSNOWIEC (Rus. Sosnovets), city in Katowice province, 
S. Poland. There were 2,600 Jews living in Sosnowiec around 
1890 (29.8% of the total population), who earned their liveli- 
hood mainly in the clothing, food, building, and machine in- 
dustries, and bookkeeping. A Jewish cemetery was opened in 
1896, a linat zedek ("paupers' hostel") was founded in 1907, a 
talmud torah in 1908, and a mikveh in 1913. The city's growth 
in the 20 th century, especially after the Russian retreat in 
World War 1, was accompanied by an increase in the Jewish 
population which reached 13,646 (16% of the total) in 1921. 
Approximately one-third engaged in light and medium in- 
dustry, crafts and trade, including clothing and shoe manu- 
facture, coal mining, and manufacture of coke. About 2,000 
Jews were employed as laborers or clerks in industry or busi- 

ness; a considerable number engaged in the professions. In 
the early 20 th century a Jewish labor movement was organized 
through the *Bund and *Po'alei Zion. The Jewish workers of 
Sosnowiec took part in revolutionary activities in 1905-06, 
and 30 were imprisoned and exiled to the Russian interior. 
Through the efficient workers' organization the Jewish mine 
owners were able to compete with large industrial concerns. 
The mine owned by H. Priwer produced 25,000 tons of coal 
in 1920, and that of B. Meyer 32,000 in 1922. 

The Jewish population continued to grow in the inter- 
war period, from 20,805 m !93! to 28,000 in 1939 (22% of the 
total). New arrivals came mainly from Kielce province at- 
tracted to Sosnowiec by more favorable work opportunities. 
The communal organization expanded; in addition to a Jew- 
ish hospital, secondary schools for girls and boys were estab- 
lished, and associations of artisans, merchants, and industri- 
alists were formed. 

[Arthur Cygielman] 

Holocaust Period 

The German army entered Sosnowiec on Sept. 4, 1939. On the 
same day it organized an attack on the Jewish population, and 
13 Jews were killed. On September 9 the Great Synagogue on 
Dekert Street was set on fire. In 1942, Jews were deported to 
^Auschwitz death camp in three groups: 1,500 on May 10-12; 
2,000 in June; and over 8,000 on August 12-18. After the last 
deportation the Germans established a ghetto in the suburb 
of Srodula. On March 10, 1943, the ghetto was sealed off. On 
August 16, 1943, all the inhabitants, with the exception of 
about 1,000 people, were deported to Auschwitz where they 
perished. The last 1,000 Jews in Sosnowiec were murdered in 
December 1943 and January 1944. Previously there had been 
considerable underground activity among the Jews, mostly 
organized by the youth organizations Ha-No'ar ha-Ziyyoni, 
Gordonia, and Ha-Shomer ha-Za'ir, whose main leader was 
Zevi Dunski. 

After the war about 700 Jews resettled in Sosnowiec, but 
almost all of them emigrated shortly afterward. 

[Stefan Krakowski] 

bibliography: W.A.P. Lodz, Piotrkowski Rz^d Gubernski, 
Kane. Prez., 500, 623; Wydzial administratywny, 2446, 8118; Wydzial 
Pr. 2nd; Zarzad zand. 119/1906 (= c ahjp, hm 6421, 6432, 3489, 6329, 
6920, 7193 f.); B. Wasiutyriski, Ludnosc zydowska w Polsce w wiekach 
xix i xx (1930), 29; S. Bronsztejn, Ludnosc zydowska w Polsce w okre- 
sie miedzy wo jenny m (1963), 278; N.E. Szternfinkiel, Zaglada Zydow 
Sosnowca (1946); J. Jaras, in: bzih, 35 (i960), 91-97; M.S. Gashur 
(Grukner), Le-Korot ha-Ir Sosnowiec ve-ha-Sevivah (Heb. and Yid., 

SOTAH (Heb. ntpiO; "Errant Wife"), the fifth tractate in the 
current edition of the Mishnah order of Nashim, with Tosefta 
and Gemara in the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. Deal- 
ing mainly with the laws concerning a woman suspected of 
adultery (Num. 5:11-31), the tractate also discusses inciden- 
tally extraneous matters like the rite of the eglah *arufah and 
the rules of exemption from military service (Deut. 20:1-9; 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


24:5). In some manuscripts it is put sixth in the sequence of 
tractates in Nashim. 

The contents of the nine chapters of this tractate are as 
follows: Chapter 1 discusses the form in which the husband 
has to manifest his jealousy and how the Sanhedrin urges the 
woman to admit her guilt rather than undergo the ordeal; the 
first stages of the ordeal are also discussed. The last passages 
of this chapter are of aggadic nature, debating the principle of 
measure for measure in divine justice. Chapters 2-3 deal with 
the "meal-offering of jealousy" and the writing of the "scroll of 
curses." Incidentally, the question of whether daughters should 
be taught Torah is considered, and information is given on 
the differences between men and women in respect of various 
halakhot. The "bitter water" is discussed in chapter 4, mainly 
those cases exempted from this ordeal. Chapter 5 is dedicated 
to the halakhot which were taught bo va-yom ("on the very 
same day"), i.e., when Rabban Gamaliel was deposed and R. 
Eleazar b. Azariah was made nasi. Only the first Mishnah in 
this chapter deals with sot ah. 

Chapter 6 is concerned with the question of the "mini- 
mum evidence" necessary to decide the woman's guilt without 
her having to undergo the ordeal. Since it is laid down that the 
declarations with regard to the sotah maybe made in any lan- 
guage, chapter 7 lists other biblical passages to which this ap- 
plies and then enumerates passages which must be read in He- 
brew. In connection with this it is related how King Agrippa, 
who was partly of Edomite descent, wept when he read the 
sentence "thou mayest not put a foreigner over thee," but the 
people encouraged him, exclaiming: "Thou art our brother!" 
Chapter 8 speaks first of the priest anointed for war, since his 
address to the army (Deut. 20:3-4) has to be in Hebrew, and 
then deals in detail with the whole passage, including the 
grounds for exemption from military service. Of particular 
interest is the concluding paragraph, stating that the exemp- 
tion applied only to optional wars of conquest like those of 
King David but not to obligatory wars, like those of Joshuas 
conquest of the Holy Land, or to defensive wars at any time. 
The second half of chapter 9, which deals with eglah arufah y 
is of a general aggadic nature, which is introduced by the ob- 
servation that with the great increase in murders (the refer- 
ence is to a time of civil disorder preceding the destruction 
of the Temple) the rite of breaking the heifer's neck was dis- 
continued, and with the increase of immorality the ordeal of 
bitter water was abolished. The chapter goes on to describe 
how at various times, especially at the time of the destruction 
of the Temple, other laws and customs were abolished or fell 
into disuse and how scholarship and piety declined after the 
death of the great sages, such as Ben Azzai and Ben Zoma. 
Many other profound aggadic passages are also found in the 
Babylonian and Jerusalem Gemara and in the Tosefta. The 
Babylonian Talmud (22b) lists seven types of hypocrites and 
in connection with this cites Alexander Yannai's well-known 
observation that neither sincere Pharisees nor sincere Saddu- 
cees should be feared, only the hypocrites. In 49b there is a 
description of the struggle between Aristobulus and Hyrcanus; 

an interesting distinction is made in this context between the 
Greek language and Greek wisdom. 

The Mishnah of Sotah was taught at the end of the Tem- 
ple era. The main early portions of the Mishnah belonging 
to this period are 1:2 and 4-6; 2:2; 3:1-4; and 7:1-9:15. The ac- 
count of Agrippa and the reading of "the chapter of the king" 
described in 7:8 almost certainly refers to Agrippa *n and the 
incident which took place in 62 c.e., since the Tosefta says of 
this Mishnah: "On that same day R. *Tarfon saw a lame man 
standing and sounding the shofar" Mishnah 9:9 is by Johanan 
b. Zakkai, who testifies about something which occurred in 
his time, as is also clear from a comparison with Tosefta 14:1. 
Basing himself on this, Epstein believes that the main part of 
chapters 8 and 9 is from the Mishnah of Johanan b. Zakkai. 
The order of procedure in dealing with the sotah differs in sev- 
eral details from those given in the Bible, and this is already 
discussed in the sources themselves (Sot. 3a; tj 1:5, 17a). Since 
the Mishnah was taught in Temple times, it obviously gives the 
procedure customary during this period. Other differences are 
reflected in various books of Philo, and some of them are al- 
luded to in early beraitot and fragments of them (see Epstein 
in bibliography). The Babylonian Talmud to Sotah has a dis- 
tinctive style: it contains passages in Hebrew (39b); it does not 
use the phrase "there is a lacuna" (hassurei mehassera); and 
it usually gives the final decision (mistavra keman de-amar). 
This tractate was translated into English and published by the 
Soncino Press (1936). 

bibliography: Epstein, Tanna'im, 394-413; Epstein, Amo- 

ra'im, 84-93; H. Albeck, Shishah Sidrei Mishnah, Seder Nashim (1954), 


[Arnost Zvi Ehrman] 


In the Bible 

The personality was considered as a whole in the biblical pe- 
riod. Thus the soul was not sharply distinguished from the 
body. In biblical Hebrew the words neshamah and ru'ah both 
mean "breath" and nefesh refers to the person or even the body 
(cf. Num. 6:6). For ways of expressing mind see *Heart. 

Rabbinic Doctrine 

For the rabbinic view of the soul see *Body and Soul. 

In Medieval Jewish Philosophy 

The soul in medieval Jewish philosophy is often depicted as 
the king and ruler of the body, its principle of life, organiza- 
tion, and perception. It is likened, in similes which go back 
to antiquity, to the rider of a steed, the captain of a ship, and 
the governor of a state. Yet, paradoxically, the soul is also of- 
ten considered as a stranger on earth, an alien yearning for 
its supernal home. Philosophers view this latter characteris- 
tic, indicative of the soul's ability to survive the death of the 
body, as a function of its intellectual as well as moral perfec- 
tion. Intellectual perfection was understood to comprise a true 
understanding of the nature of all being, both physical and 
metaphysical, including the nature of the soul. Descriptions 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



of the soul followed Platonic and Aristotelian views, with later 
Greek thought supplying the models by which man's soul was 
related to heavenly substances. *Saadiah Gaon had a partial fa- 
miliarity, derived from Pseudo- Plutarch's De placitis philosoph- 
orum, with these and many other systems of thought, none 
of which consistently appealed to his primarily theological 
perspective. He delared that each soul is created from noth- 
ing by God - the sole eternal being - at the moment of the 
completion of the formation of the body, and that body and 
soul form a unit bound together in this life and, eventually, in 
the hereafter. The soul requires the good acts of the body to 
perfect its peculiarly immaterial, celestial-like substance, even 
as the body needs the faculties of sensation and reason which 
the soul provides. Saadiah believed, with Plato (see Republic 
4-435D; Timaeus 69c), that the soul has intellectual, spiritual, 
and passionate expressions; however, following Aristotle, he 
maintained that these were faculties of a single soul, located 
in the heart (Book of Beliefs and Opinions, Treatise 6). 

Man's soul was believed by most of the philosophers to 
have affinities with the souls of plants and animals, on the one 
hand, and with either the World Soul of the Neoplatonists or, 
in the Aristotelian system, the souls of the celestial bodies - 
the soul of a celestial body being a kind of rational principle 
separate from and responsible for the movement, if not life, 
of the sphere - on the other. In the Neoplatonic cosmology 
accepted by Isaac ^Israeli, Solomon ibn *Gabirol, Joseph ibn 
*Zaddik, and Pseudo- *Bahya, the World Soul emanates from 
the Universal Intellect and therefore has intellectual powers, 
which it transmits, together with the subsequently emanated 
physical qualities of Nature, to the individual soul. Man's soul, 
a substance or form independent of the body, thus contains 
natural" or vegetative, animal, and rational aspects, and as 
such reflects the World Soul. These faculties are usually treated 
as separate, distinct souls, located respectively in the liver, 
heart, and brain. 

From Israeli on, the vegetative soul is generally held re- 
sponsible for nourishment, growth, and generation; the ani- 
mal soul, for a type of instinctive intelligence known as esti- 
mation, as well as for locomotion and sensory perception; and 
the rational soul, for discursive knowledge, both practical and 
theoretical. Israeli, following the Arab philosopher al-*Kindi, 
also introduced into Jewish philosophy the Proclean stages of 
purification and illumination of the soul, substituting an ul- 
timate stage of "spiritualization," i.e., a union with the First 
Form, the Supernal Wisdom or Intellect, for Proclus' divine 
union. The ascent of the soul, the upward way, is facilitated 
by withdrawal from the soul's passions and appetites, an as- 
cetic direction particularly emphasized by Bahya ibn Paquda 
(Duties of the Hearty ch. 10). Paradise is, for Israeli, union 
with the supernal light of wisdom, and hell the failure to at- 
tain this stage, the soul being weighed down by its corporeal 
aspects (see A. Altmann and S.M. Stern, Isaac Israeli (1958), 
165-70, 185-94). 

Aristotle's De anima, seen through the eyes of such Greek 
commentators as ^Alexander of Aphrodisias and *Themistius, 

and such Arab scholars as al-*FarabI and *Avicenna, serves as 
the main inspiration for Abraham *Ibn Daud, Moses *Maimo- 
nides, and most subsequent philosophers. They view the soul 
as the form of the body, a single substance comprised (in ad- 
dition to the earlier tripartite division) of nutritive, sensitive, 
imaginative, appetitive, and rational faculties. Descriptions 
of the functional anatomy of these faculties mostly follow 
Galen as well as Aristotle, with the emotions of the appetitive 
faculty particularly responsible for ethical behavior, and the 
imagination and intellect considered as the organs of proph- 
ecy. The Aristotelians, like the Neoplatonists, teach that the 
good is the mean between psychic extremes (see Maimonides, 
Shemonah Perakim, 1 and 4). The ideal of most philosophers 
is an extremely intellectual as well as virtuous person, whose 
intellect has reached a stage of completely immaterial, ac- 
tual perfection. In this state the individual "acquired" intel- 
lect, which is comprised of universal intelligibles, may con- 
join with the Active Intellect. It is this conjunction with the 
Active Intellect that constitutes immortality (Maimonides, 
Guide, 1:70, 72; 3:27; 54). 

This impersonal and incorporeal approach to immortal- 
ity was heightened by the view of Averroes as propounded, 
for example, by *Moses of Narbonne, in which the individ- 
ual intellect is understood to be essentially related to the 
Active Intellect from its very beginning as a potential intel- 
lect. Against such denials of personal immortality, *Levi b. 
*Gershom contended that the "acquired" intellect became 
an independent eternal substance (Milhamot Adonai, 1:12); 
while Hasdai *Crescas, in a general critique of his predeces- 
sors' views, claimed the same status for the soul itself, using 
the term "soul" as more than a euphemism for the intellect. 
Crescas believed that the perfection of the soul was achieved 
more through love than through knowledge of God (Or Ado- 
nai, 2:6, 1). His attack upon Aristotelianism calls to mind 
that of * Judah Halevi, who mentions in passing the Aristote- 
lian view of the soul (Kuzari, 5:12, 14, 21). Judah Halevi's own 
contribution to the subject was to posit a divine yet "natural" 
endowment (ha-inyan ha-Elohi) which, apparently related 
to the Jewish soul, made the Jew a superior being (Kuzari, 
1:95; 2:14). A somewhat similar view was advanced by Judah 
Halevi's i2 th -century contemporary, ^Abraham bar Hiyya, 
who believed that the rational soul in all its purity was to be 
found among the elect of Israel alone. Such national feelings 
have little place in Crescas' more rigorously argued philoso- 
phy, and even less in the i6 th -century Dialoghi di Amore of 
Judah *Abrabanel. Judah Abrabanel believed that love was 
a universal expression of both the animated structure of the 
universe, and of its yearning for unity with God. Through in- 
tellection and conjunction with the Active Intellect - which, 
following Alexander of Aphrodisias, Abrabanel identified 
with God - man could enter into a direct relationship with 
the Divine (Dialoghi, 3). This mixture of love and intellect is 
pronounced in the synthesis of Aristotelian and Cartesian 
ideas effected by *Spinoza, in which the influence of medi- 
eval Jewish philosophy is marked. Spinoza advocated the im- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


personal approach to immortality, consistent with his denial 
of independent substantial existents of any kind. He believed 
that all things are ensouled, or endowed with a psychic di- 
mension of intelligibility that is ultimately part of God. The 
emotions, he felt, could be controlled through an analysis of 
their causes, allowing for an intellectual love of God which 
follows the mind's knowledge of its inherent oneness with 
God/Nature. The man who reaches this degree of knowledge 
is blessed with the thought that his mind, as part of God, is 
eternal (Ethics y 5). 

See also ^Imagination; * intellect. 

bibliography: Husik, Philosophy, index; Guttmann, Phi- 
losophies, index; H. Davidson, in: A. Altmann (ed.), Jewish Medieval 
and Renaissance Studies (1967), 75-94; H. Maker, in: jqr, 2 (1911-12), 
453-79; S. Horovitz, Die Psychologie bei den juedischen Religionsphilos- 
ophen des Mittelalters von Saadia bis Maimuni, 4 vols. (1898-1912). 

[Alfred L. Ivry] 


In the Bible 

Unlike the gods of Mesopotamia and Canaan, e.g., Apsu, Tia- 
mat, Baal, and Mot, who, while they could not die a natural 
death, could incur a violent one, the God of Israel is the living 
God (Hos. 2:1; Ps. 18:47). His lordship extends from heaven 
to Sheol (Ps. 139:8; Job 26:6); He puts to death and brings to 
life (1 Sam. 2:6; 1 Kings 17:17-22; 11 Kings 4:18-37); and He can 
preserve His faithful from Sheol (Ps. 16:10). 

Among the peoples of the Ancient Near East, the Egyp- 
tians were very optimistic about the afterlife. They believed 
that the dead lived a life almost identical with that in this 
world (cf. The Book of the Dead, 110). The Babylonians, on 
the other hand, were pessimistic about life after death. The 
average human being had no means of escaping his fate: one 
day he would die and descend to the netherworld, which was 
governed by a god and goddess of death. There were, however, 
special cases in which man could attain immortality. Theo- 
retically, man could become immortal, or at least rejuvenated, 
by means of a mysterious food or drink (cf. Adapa> frag, b; 
Pritchard, Texts, 101-2; Gilgamesh, Tablet 11, lines 265-90, 
Pritchard, Texts, 96). Immortality could be acquired by a spe- 
cial favor of the gods in their assembly (see Gilgamesh y Tablet 
11, lines 190-8). A god could also resurrect the dead: Ishtar 
threatens the gatekeeper of the netherworld, saying: "I will 
raise up the dead ... so that the dead will outnumber the liv- 
ing" (Descent of Ishtar, line 20; Pritchard, Texts, 107). 

In the Bible two persons are said to have left this world in 
a special way: Enoch "was taken by God" (Gen. 5:24) and Eli- 
jah "was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind" (11 Kings 2; cf. Ps. 
49:16). The exact implication of these traditions is not clear. 

The crucial passage of Proverbs 12:28 has been translated 
differently through the centuries. Saadiah Gaon already un- 
derstood it as immortality, as did E Delitzsch many centuries 
later. M. Dahood (in: Biblica y 41 (i960), 176-81) related the 
Hebrew JTO *7K c al mawet) in this verse to the Ugaritic blmt, 
"not dying." 

It is also possible that the Masoretic Text of Proverbs 14:3 
contains the hope of a better life than that in Sheol (cf. Ps. 
16:9-11; 73:24; A.W. van der Weiden, in: vt, 20 (1970), 339-50). 
However in Daniel 12:2 the resurrection to eternal life for some 
is unequivocally predicted. Only in the post -biblical period 
did a clear and firm belief in the immortality of the soul take 
hold (e.g., Wisd. 3) and become one of the cornerstones of the 
Jewish and Christian faiths. See *Death; ^Resurrection. 

In the Talmud 

The rabbis of the Talmud believed in the continued existence 
of the soul after death, but differed with regard to the nature 
of this existence. On the one hand, the view was widespread 
that the righteous person immediately after his death enters 
the Garden of Eden, where he is vouchsafed to be in a special 
section of the garden (Shab. 152b; bm 83b), while the wicked 
go to *Gehinnom (Hag. 15a; Ber. 28b; Er. 19a; whether in cor- 
poreal form or not is not mentioned). On the other hand, 
the view is expressed that the soul of man - at death - is sev- 
ered from any connection with the body and its pleasures, 
ascends upward, and is gathered into "the treasury" beneath 
"the throne of glory" (Shab. 152b), where it had its pre-exis- 
tential origin in the upper heaven called "Aravot "; "where are 
right and judgment and righteousness, the treasures of life, 
the treasures of peace, the treasures of blessings, the souls 
of the righteous, the spirits and souls yet to be born, and the 
dew wherewith the Holy One will eventually revive the dead" 
(Hag. 12b); while the souls of the wicked "continue to be im- 
prisoned" (Shab. 152b), are "cast about on the earth" (Eccles. 
R. 3:21; arn 1 12:50), and are cast from the slings of destruc- 
tive angels (Shab. 152b). 

Alongside the belief in the heavenly "treasury" to which 
the soul returns after death, the ancient belief was widespread 
in the talmudic era (and later) that the soul of man after death 
continues with the body in the netherworld, either for a brief 
or for an extended period. In one passage (tj, mk 3:5, 82b; tj, 
Yev. 16:1, 15c) R. Levi says that the soul hovers over the body 
for three days, hoping that it will return to it, and departing 
only when the hope is belied (a belief found also in Zoroas- 
trianism). Elsewhere it states that "a man's soul mourns for 
him all the seven days of mourning" (Shab. 152a), and also 
that "for full 12 months the body continues to exist and the 
soul ascends and descends" and only after this period, when 
the body is decomposed, "the soul ascends nevermore to de- 
scend" (Shab. 152b). Similarly, there is neither uniformity nor 
consistency concerning the extent of the consciousness re- 
tained by the dead. In one passage it is stated that the dead 
hear everything spoken in their presence until the grave is 
sealed (ibid.) y while elsewhere it is stated that the dead are 
aware (apparently eternally) of their own pain ("worms are 
as painful to the dead as a needle in the flesh of the living," 
Shab. 13b) and shame. For this reason it was forbidden to walk 
in a cemetery wearing *tefillin or reading from a Sefer Tor ah , 
since it seemed like a mockery of the dead (Ber. 18a). It is re- 
lated that R. Hiyya and R. Jonathan were walking in a cem- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



etery, and Hiyya told Jonathan to gather up his *zizit so that 
the dead should not say: "Tomorrow they are coming to join 
us and now they insult us" (ibid.). 

The dead even have contact with the living and direct 
them in worldly affairs: the father of Samuel appeared to him, 
on returning from "the heavenly yeshivah," and revealed to 
him where the money of orphans, which had been deposited 
with him, was to be found (Ber. 18b); and similarly a woman 
innkeeper informed Zeiri after her death where the money he 
deposited with her was lying (ibid.). The dead also hold con- 
versations with the living: Some men digging in the field of R. 
Nahman heard the sound of the deep breathing of a corpse, 
and when Nahman came he conversed with him (Shab. 152b). 
Deceased women adorn themselves in their clothes and or- 
naments. The innkeeper who came into contact with Zeiri 
requested that her mother send her a comb and cosmetics 
through a woman about to die. Another complained to her 
neighbor that she was unable to rise and wander about the 
upper worlds because she was buried in a matting of reeds 
(Ber. 18b). The dead wander about and hear "from behind the 
curtain" what was decreed upon the living (ibid.). The sages 
spoke especially highly of the power of the righteous after their 
death. According to Simeon b. Lakish, the sole difference be- 
tween the living righteous and the dead is the faculty of speech 
(tj, Av. Zar. 3:1). Likewise they said that "if a statement is said 
in a person's name in this world, after his death his lips move in 
the grave" (Sanh. 90b). It is also related of Judah ha-Nasi that 
after his death he used to visit his house every eve of the Sab- 
bath, and only ceased to do so out of respect for the scholars 
(Ket. 103a). All these views, however, did not prevent others 
from saying that "if one makes remarks about the dead, it is 
like making remarks about a stone" (Ber. 19a) and that at the 
most the dead know their own pain (Ber. 18b) but not what 

transpires in the world. 

[Yehoshua M. Grintz] 

In Medieval Jewish Philosophy 

The doctrine of the immortality of the soul, as it appears in the 
writings of * Philo as well as in the works of some later Jew- 
ish philosophers, shows strong influences of Platonism (see 
Plato and *Platonism), which saw a complete separation be- 
tween body and * soul. 

philo. Philo s statements that the human soul is mortal are 
usually ambiguous, but he often refers to the various ranks 
which the souls achieve after death. According to Philo, Abra- 
ham achieved the rank of the angels, which are incorporeal, 
Isaac ranks higher, and Moses achieved a yet higher rank, 
since he is close to God. 

saadiah. Saadiah Gaon held the opinion - apparently ac- 
cording to views of the Muslim *Kalam, which reflected a 
non- Platonic Greek philosophical tradition - that the soul is 
"a more pure, transparent and simple substance than are the 
spheres," i.e., that the soul is a fine body. At the time of death, 
the soul separates from the body of man, and "during the first 
period after its separation from the body, however, the soul 

exists for a while without a fixed abode until the body has 
decomposed; that is to say, until its parts have disintegrated. 
It consequently experiences during this period much misery, 
occasioned by the knowledge of the worms and the vermin 
and the like that pass through the body, just as a person would 
be pained by the knowledge that a house in which he used to 
live is in ruins and that thorns and thistles grow in it" (Book 
of Beliefs and Opinions, 6:7). Saadiah had no clear conception 
of the condition of the soul during the transition period from 
the time of death until the resurrection of the dead, which 
was characteristic of many medieval Jewish thinkers, and il- 
lustrates their difficulties in reconciling the notion of the im- 
mortality of the soul with a belief in resurrection. According 
to Saadiah, the soul is reunited with its body at the time of res- 
urrection and this combined state continues thereafter. 

isaac Israeli. Unlike Saadiah, his older contemporary, 
Isaac ^Israeli, was deep within the Platonic tradition. Accord- 
ing to him, the soul is an incorporeal substance. Man's soul 
does not die with the death of his body: "he becomes spiri- 
tual, and will be joined in union to the light which is created, 
without mediator, by the power of God, and will become one 
that exalts and praises the Creator for ever and in all eter- 
nity. This then will be his paradise and the goodness of his 
reward, and the bliss of his rest, his perfect rank and unsul- 
lied beauty" (Book of Definitions , see A. Altmann and S.M. 
Stern, Isaac Israeli (1958), 25-26). While the upper souls are 
above the heavens, the lower ones are beneath them and are 
tortured by fire, according to a belief which was also held in 
Greco-Roman paganism. 

solomon ibngabirol. A similar Platonic spirit pervades 
the writings of Solomon ibn *Gabirol in his book Mekor 
Hayyim. He does not express a clear opinion in this book 
with regard to the immortality of the soul, but he does men- 
tion the idea of Platonic recollection (see S. Pines, in: Tarbiz y 
27 (1958), 231). One section of Mekor Hayyim, which is cited 
by Moses ibn *Ezra, attests more clearly than does the Latin 
translation to the central role played by Platonic recollection 
in the thought of Ibn Gabirol. 

This idea, if accepted simply, presupposes a belief in the 
existence of the soul prior to its conjunction with the body, 
since it assumes that it is this conjunction which caused the 
soul to forget its previous knowledge, which it may again 
recollect. In contrast to this view, in his poem Keter Malkhut 
Ibn Gabirol expresses a traditional Jewish outlook when he 
states that the souls of the righteous rest beneath the throne 
of glory 

Joseph ibn zaddik. Joseph ibn *Zaddik was influenced by 
both Ibn Gabirol and Israeli. According to him, the soul is in- 
corporeal, existed before its conjunction with the body, and 
continues to exist after the passing of the body. If the soul at- 
tained the necessary level of knowledge, it returns after death 
to its place of origin, i.e., to the world of the intelligibles; but 
if it remained ignorant, it is pulled by the motion of the celes- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


tial sphere and tortured by fire. It is then likened to a traveler 
who cannot find the way back to his homeland. 

Abraham bar hiyya. Abraham bar Hiyya describes the 
intelligible soul by the term "form" (Meditation of the Sad 
Soul (1969), 46 ff.) which continues to exist even after its sep- 
aration from the body. Abraham b. Hiyya has a multiple ac- 
count of what happens to the soul after death. If the man was 
wise and righteous, his soul ascends to the upper world "and 
attaches itself to the pure high form, enters into it and never 
separates from it." If he was wise and wicked, his soul arrives 
after death at the world of the spheres "and it revolves under 
the circles of the sun, whose heat appears to it as an image of 
a perpetually scorching fire, and it has neither the right nor 
the power to remove itself from the heavenly sphere in order 
to attach itself to the supernal light." If the man was ignorant 
and righteous, his soul returns "a second and third time" to 
bodies until it acquires wisdom and is able "to separate from 
the air of the lower world and to ascend above it; and its right- 
eousness or wickedness at that particular time will determine 
the order of its ascent and its ultimate rank." If the man was 
ignorant and wicked, his soul too will die "a death of a beast 
and an animal." 

judah h alevi. According to Judah *Halevi (Kuzari, 1:103), 
Judaism is "the religion which insures the immortality of the 
soul after the demise of the body." It is nonetheless clear that 
the character of the Jewish scholar in the work (who expresses 
Judah Halevi s thought) wants to broaden and crystallize this 
idea. Thus, his interlocutor, the king of the Khazars, is able 
to point out, with certain justification: "The anticipations of 
other religions are grosser and more sensuous than yours" 
(ibid.y 1:104). 

It appears that Judah Halevi realized the difficulty with 
which his successors were to contend, namely, that Scripture 
does not express clearly the notion of the immortality of the 
soul. In answer, Judah Halevi was able to state that the na- 
ture of the Jewish prophets and godly men approaches, even 
in their lifetime, the condition of souls in their immortality 
(ibid.y 1:109). 

Abraham ibn daud. Abraham ibn *Daud is considered - 
with certain justification - as the first Spanish Jewish Aristote- 
lian. It appears, however, that because of *Avicenna's influence 
on him, he was not an orthodox Aristotelian. Like Avicenna, 
Ibn Daud maintains that the individual human soul contin- 
ues to exist after the death of the body (Emunah Ramah y ed. 
by S. Weil (1852, ch. 7, 34-39). Contrary to Avicenna, however, 
he speaks at great length about the condition of the souls af- 
ter death. 

maimonides. The great majority of the Spanish Aristote- 
lians, both Jewish and Muslim, did not follow Avicenna and 
did not believe in the immortality of the individual soul. Noth- 
ing remains of man after death, they held, except his intellect, 
which bears no trace of individuality and the exact nature of 
which was a source of controversy among them (see * Intel- 

lect). Judah Halevi had already established - possibly on the 
basis of the views of his Muslim contemporary, *Avempace, 
which were known to him - that the philosophers do not af- 
firm the immortality of the individual soul. It may be thought 
that even ^Maimonides, to the extent that he was a philoso- 
pher, believed in the immortality of the intellect rather than 
of the soul. It is possible to find traces, and even clear state- 
ments, of this idea in his Guide of the Perplexed. 

In his Mishneh Torah y which essentially deals not with 
philosophic ideas but rather with halakhah and principles of 
faith, Maimonides states that in the *olam ha-ba there are no 
bodies, but only the souls of the righteous, without body, serv- 
ing as the angels of God. Since there are no bodies in the world 
to come, there are in it neither eating, nor drinking, nor any of 
the things which human bodies need in this world. Neither do 
the souls perform any of the actions of the body, such as sit- 
ting and standing, sleeping and dying, weeping and laughing. 
It is obvious that there is no body since there is no eating and 
drinking (Yad, Teshuvah, 8:2). It becomes manifest, however, 
that these things refer not to the soul, as it was conceived by 
the Aristotelians, but to the intellect, which can be deduced 
from Maimonides' statements that the soul referred to in this 
connection is not the soul which is needed for the body, but is 
rather the form of the soul which is the knowledge it derives 
from God according to its ability. This is the form which is 
called "soul" in this reference (ibid. y 8:3). This rejection of indi- 
vidual immortality, which is in accordance with the teachings 
of Averroes, caused a furor among Jews as well as among the 
i3 th -century Christian scholastics and gave rise to bitter dis- 
pute. Echoes of the Christian notions, which reject the opinion 
of Averroes, can be seen in the Tagmulei ha-Nefesh of Hillel of 
* Verona, who argued for individual immortality. 


also affirms the immortality of the individual soul, but it is 
doubtful that this was his true opinion (see G. Vajda, Isaac 
Albalag (i960), 239-49). On the other hand, the position of 
Hasdai *Crescas on this matter is entirely clear. He directs 
harsh criticism against the views of the Aristotelians regard- 
ing the intellect and states that, since man is a spiritual be- 
ing, his soul remains immortal after its separation from the 
body (Or Adonai y 2:6). According to his view, which rejected 
Aristotelian intellectualism and saw love and not knowledge 
as the highest good, the love between man and God is what 
determines the immortality of the soul. The souls of the righ- 
teous after death enjoy the splendor of the *Shekhinah, i.e., 
they attach themselves to God to an extent which was denied 
them while they were in the body, and their union with God 
is constantly being strengthened. When the soul is unable to 
reach this union (because of its sins), it suffers great sorrow, 
which is so complete in some souls that it leads to their total 
destruction (ibid. y 3:3). 

Joseph albo. Joseph *Albo devoted a large section of his 
Sefer ha-Ikkarim (fourth treatise) to the question of the im- 
mortality of the soul. Unlike the Aristotelians, he maintains 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



that the soul is a spiritual being, which has an independent 
existence, is not intellectual in nature, but is capable of attain- 
ing knowledge (4:29). 

[Shlomo Pines] 

In Modern Philosophy 

moses Mendelssohn. Outstanding among i8 th -century 
works on the immortality of the soul is Moses ^Mendelssohn's 
Phaedon oder ueber die Unsterblichkeit der Seele ("Phaedon or 
On the Immortality of the Soul," 1767). In its methodology, 
this work follows Plato's Phaedo y but its content is based on 
modern philosophy In it, Mendelssohn attempts to answer 
the question: How would Socrates prove to himself and his 
friends the idea of the soul's immortality if he lived in mod- 
ern times? 

Mendelssohn rejects the theory that the soul, after its sep- 
aration from the body, enters a state similar to sleep or faint- 
ing. All rational beings, he states, are destined to increase their 
perfection. The whole world was created for the sake of the 
existence of rational beings who progressively increase their 
perfection, and herein lies their bliss. It is not possible that 
these beings, who struggle for their perfection in this world, 
should be frustrated in these efforts in the world to come. 
This would be a contradiction of the order of the universe. It 
was not in vain that the Creator instilled in man a desire for 
eternal bliss. It is both possible and necessary that this desire 
should be fulfilled, despite all the setbacks and obstacles. In 
the same way that certain disorders in the physical world, such 
as storms, earthquakes, diseases, etc. are negated within the 
infinite totality of the cosmos, so in the realm of morality all 
the temporary disorders lead toward the eternal perfection. 
Even suffering reinforces a person's powers, without which he 
cannot attain moral bliss. It is impossible to know God's de- 
sign. In order to understand the life of even one man, it would 
be necessary to view all life in its totality, and then we would 
not complain but would rather revere the creator's mercy and 
wisdom, which are revealed in the life of each intelligible be- 
ing, when viewed in its totality. 

moritz lazarus. In the 19 th century, with a general change 
in the intellectual climate, the question of the immortality of 
the soul lessened in importance. Several Jewish thinkers at- 
tempted to show that Judaism is not concerned with the im- 
mortality of the individual after death. 

Moritz *Lazarus deals with this question in his Ethik des 
Judentums (1898, para. 137 ff.). In his opinion, the attitude of 
Judaism was summarized in two sayings of R. Jacob in Pirkei 
Avot (4:16, 17). One states: "This world is like a vestibule before 
the world to come: prepare thyself in the vestibule that thou 
mayest enter into the banqueting hall." Lazarus sees this say- 
ing's "weak side" in that it speaks only of the individual, while 
in the realm of ethics it is the society which plays the major 
role. This saying is based only on the philosophy of the "I," 
while true knowledge of man's fate can only be attained by a 
philosophy of "we." Thus Lazarus rejects completely the notion 
of individual immortality or, at least, he is not concerned with 

this notion. This attitude emerges even more clearly in Laza- 
rus' treatment of R. Jacob's second saying, which is inverted by 
Lazarus to read as follows: "Better is one hour of bliss in the 
world to come than the whole life of this world; [but] better 
is one hour of repentance and good works in this world than 
the whole life of the world to come." Lazarus does not hesitate 
to change the saying in order to make it conform to his own 
emphasis on this world rather than the next. 

Hermann cohen. Hermann *Cohen also holds that Juda- 
ism views the soul's immortality as applying to the people as 
a whole rather than to the individual (Religion der Vernunft 
(1918), ch. 15). The people never dies, he states, but rather 
has an eternal continuing history. The individual soul is per- 
petuated by means of this history and is real only within the 
context of the continuity of the people. This concept of im- 
mortality is taught by the Bible, while the place of individual 
immortality is in the realm of mythology. Individual immor- 
tality only means that the individual is constantly required to 
strive for his moral perfection. True immortality of the soul 
is its spirit, i.e., the possibility and the obligation to effect 
the principles of truth and morality in this world. The soul 
is spirit - beyond this there is no need to think about man's 
fate after death. 

ahad ha-am. *Ahad Ha- Am regards belief in immortality 
of the soul solely as a sign of weakness. Many people, he says, 
lack the courage to face death and, in old age, fall back on a 
belief in immortality to give the "I" back its "future," a future 
in which they will compensate for what was lacking in the past. 
Thus Ahad Ha- Am ridicules a belief in the world to come and 
in the immortality of the soul (see his article Avar ve-Atid). In 
his article Heshbon ha-Nefesh y Ahad Ha-Am characterizes the 
belief in an afterlife as a "sickness of the spirit." He attributes 
the manifestation of this belief to the desire to escape from life 
during times of depression. This belief, he states, does nothing 
to encourage positive activity in life, since it teaches that man's 
fate on earth depends on his continued fate after death. 

r a b b 1 ko o k . In dealing with the question of death and im- 
mortality, A.I. *Kook holds that death is a defect in creation. 
The Jewish people is called upon to remove this taint from the 
world and to save nature from death. Death is wholly imagi- 
nary, but it is difficult for man to free himself from this image. 
Original sin, which led man to a distorted world view, brought 
about death and fear of death, but repentance will overcome 
both. R. Kook saw indications of the retreat of death in mod- 
ern times in the increase of life expectancy. The modern He- 
brew poet Aaron Zeitlin gave a striking expression to this idea 
of the delusionary nature of death by coining the word LHa- 
Ma-M, formed from the initial letters of the Hebrew sentence, 
Lo hayah mavet me-olam ("death has never existed"). 

[Samuel Hugo Bergman] 

In Kabbalah 

In contrast with speculations in medieval Jewish philosophy, 
in Kabbalah immortality of the soul is not a matter requir- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


ing justification and defense in the face of doubts and argu- 
ments. To the kabbalists, immortality of the soul was an in- 
controvertible fact based on the primary doctrine of the soul 
common to all, that the soul and all its parts are a spiritual 
entity (or spiritual entities), whose origin (or origins) is in 
the supernal worlds and from the divine emanation, and that 
it evolved downward and entered the body only in order to 
fulfill a specific task or purpose. Its special spiritual essence 
guarantees its immortality after death. The forms visualized 
for this immortality differ widely and are connected with the 
respective views of the kabbalists regarding reward and pun- 
ishment. The reward is included in the many- staged ascent to 
the primal dwelling place of the soul. This ascent begins with 
the entrance of the soul into the earthly Paradise. From there 
it ascends to the heavenly Paradise, and from there into even 
higher spiritual worlds, until it reaches its original anchorage 
both in the world of creation and in the world of emanation - 
two of the four worlds acknowledged by most kabbalists after 
the * Zohar. The absorption of the soul or of its upper parts, 
such as the spirit (and in the Lurianic Kabbalah, also the life, 
hayyah, and the entity, yehidah) into the world of the Sefirot 
apparently does not cancel its personal individuality - in any 
case, not in the period preceding the universal resurrection 
of the dead. Afterward a more basic absorption is possible, to 
the extent of the abolition of the separate existence of the soul 
and its complete adherence to its divine source. 

The punishment awaiting sinners, which is also con- 
nected with the immortality of the soul, takes on two forms: 
hell and reincarnation. In these two, the quality of justice 
which befits the soul exists according to the particular cir- 
cumstances of its deeds. There is no general agreement in the 
kabbalistic systems on the details of reward and punishment, 
and there are many variations in the details, but these do not 
affect the principle of immortality of the soul, its designation 
for eternal life, and the rectification of its defects by different 
means. Only the question of the punishment of karet, which 
the Torah designates for several sins, presented the kabbalists 
with the problem that in special cases the existence of the soul 
may be completely abolished, and it would have no chance of 
immortality. For the most part the kabbalists gave the punish- 
ment of karet the interpretation which sees in it a special type 
of the punishment of reincarnation. The soul was indeed cut 
off from its supernal roots and lost its predetermined group. 
Despite this, its existence was not completely abolished; it 
only passed to other fields of existence of lower value than its 
source of origin. In the Lurianic Kabbalah the problem of im- 
mortality of the soul became complex, because, according to 
this doctrine, there are five different sources for the five prin- 
cipal elements of which the soul is composed - nefesh y ruah, 
neshamah, hayyah, yehidah. Life, spirit, and soul are the three 
lower souls; the two higher elements can be attained only by 
elects. In addition, the soul also has sparks (nizozot) of other 
souls close to it, in accord with its essence. There is no one 
vision of what will happen to the different parts of the soul af- 
ter their separation from the body, because each one under- 

goes individual refinements and purifications and ascends to 
a different place in the supernal worlds. Only with the resur- 
rection of the dead do all the parts return and become uni- 
fied, and from that time they remain connected to the total 

spiritual unity. 

[Gershom Scholem] 

bibliography: in the bible: F. Delitzsch, Das Salomoni- 
sche Spruchbuch (1873), 20/ff.; J. Derenbourg, Oeuvres completes de 
R. Saadia, 6 (1894), 70; J. Touzard, in: rb, 7 (1898), 207ff.; L.F. Bur- 
ney, Israel's Hope of Immortality (1909); A. Heidel, The Gilgamesh Epic 
and Old Testament Parallels (1949 2 ), i37ff-; W.F. Albright, in: vts, 4 
(1957), 257. in medieval Jewish philosophy: Guttmann, Philoso- 
phies, index; Husik, Philosophy, index, s.v. Immortality; HA. Wolf- 
son, Philo, 1 (1947), 260 ff.; H. Davidson, in: Jewish Medieval and Re- 
naissance Studies (1967), 75-94; S. Horovitz, Die Psychologie bei den 
juedischen Religionsphilosophen des Mittelalters von Saadia bis Mai- 
muni, 4 vols. (1898-1912); G. Vajda, in: Archives d'historie doctrinale 
et litteraire du Moyen Age, 15 (1946). 

SOULTZ (Ger. Sulz), town in the department of Haut-Rhin, 
E. France (not to be confused with the place of the same 
name in lower Alsace, where the settlement of the Jews was 
of a later date). The presence of Jews in Soultz is confirmed 
from 1308. In 1338 some fell victim to the *Armleder excesses; 
in the *Black Death persecutions of 1349 the community was 
destroyed. From 1371 onward a number of Jews returned to 
Soultz. During the 17 th century Jews were engaged as money- 
lenders, physicians, wine merchants, and livestock merchants. 
After reunion with France the number of Jews increased, ris- 
ing from 102 in 1784 to 231 in 1808. After 1918 the community 
declined and by the outbreak of World War 11 had ceased to 
exist. E. *Carmoly, the chief rabbi of Belgium (1802-1875), 
was a native of Soultz. 

bibliography: M. Ginsburger, Histoire de la Communaute 
Israelite de Soultz (1939); idem, in: Revue d'Alsace, 70 (1923), 405-16, 
508-14; I. Bloch, in: rej, 14 (1887), 116 f.; Germ Jud, 2 (1968), 8nf. 

[Bernhard Blumenkranz] 

SOURASKY, Mexican family of industrialists, bankers, phi- 
lanthropists, community leaders, and active Zionists, origi- 
nally from Bialystok, Poland, from where the family emi- 
grated in 1909. In 1917 the brothers leon (1889-1966), jaime 
(1894-1962), and elias (1899-1986) settled in Mexico. Each of 
them acted independently in many areas of general and Jew- 
ish community life in Mexico: assistance to the needy, institu- 
tional organization, Zionist activity, promotion of excellence 
in scientific research and education, promotion of Jewish and 
Hebrew education, defense against antisemitic attacks. They 
were also very active in the political and material support of 
the Zionist idea, and the establishment of the national Jew- 
ish homeland in Erez Israel, the establishment of the State of 
Israel during the War of Independence and its strengthening 
afterwards. Many general and Jewish institutions in Mexico 
and Israel were supported by them and subsequently named 
after them. They also instituted many prestigious prizes in 
Israel and Mexico. In 1968 Elias Sourasky received from the 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Mexican government the "Aguila Azteca," the highest decora- 
tion Mexico awards foreigners. 

[EfraimZadoff(2 nd ed.)] 

SOUS, largest province in ^Morocco, including the southern 
slopes of the Grand Atlas, the valley of the Oued Sous, the 
Anti-Atlas, the Noun (to the Atlantic Ocean), and the south- 
ern Dar c a. Early legends mention the existence of two pre-Is- 
lamic Jewish kingdoms in the Sous: one in *Ofran (Ifrane) 
and the other in the Dar c a. The Jews always lived dispersed in 
the Sous; in some of its regions they found secure, if remote, 
shelter. The larger urban centers did not attract great numbers 
of Jews, not even the ancient capital, Taroudant; however, the 
small community of this town, although relegated to quarters 
outside the city walls, for many centuries imposed its own tak- 
kanot and minhagim upon the numerous Jewish centers and 
communities of the Sous. 

There were many wars and political upheavals over the 
centuries, and towns such as Tiyout and Tidsi, seats of pros- 
perous Jewish communities, passed out of existence; in many 
localities ancient cemeteries remain as the only sign of Jew- 
ish life. The Marabout movement of the 15 th and 16 th centuries 
severely damaged the Jewish community. Forced conversions 
eliminated all aspects of Jewish life from territories where the 
Jews had formerly been numerous, with traces remaining only 
in names such as A'it-Mzal and A'it-Baha, and in the land of 
the Ammeln, where some of the present-day tribes are still 
called by names such as A'it-Aouday ("Tribe of the Jews"). 
In the A'it-Jerrar, Ida-ou-Milk, Chtouka, A'it-Ba Amran, and 
other places there are parts of ^Berber tribes which may well 
have once been Judaized, or even Jews. In about 1510 the sur- 
vivors of the persecutions joined together in Tahala, where 
they remained until 1957 when they left en masse for Israel, as 
well as in other centers of the Anti- Atlas where they met with 
different fates. By the 17 th century the Jews of the important 
center of Illigh had become an influential community; 100 
years later the Jewish populations suffered during a series of 
rebellions and upheavals, and their synagogues, like those of 
*Agadir, were destroyed around 1740. About 1792 Bou-Hal- 
lais gave the Jews of Ofran the choice of conversion or death. 
In the 19 th century the occupation of the Sous by the central 
government offered the opportunity to pillage and massacre 
the Jewish population. In 1840 the Jewish village of Tatelt was 
destroyed, and 40 years later Tillin suffered the same fate; in 
1882 the Jewish quarter of Goulimine was pillaged, and in 1900 
the soldiers of the Makhzen razed the quarter of Ouijjane. In 
some instances the Jews resisted fiercely and succeeded in 
saving many of their settlements and in some cases they even 
went on the offensive. 

In the high mountains, in often inaccessible localities, far 
from the troubled life of the plains, the Jews of regions such 
as Ounein, Tifnout, and Azilal - considered by modern eth- 
nologists and ethnographers as the remnants of very ancient 
migrations - were probably Berber tribes that had become 
Jewish in pre -Islamic times. In these forbidding regions the 

Jews lived as autochthonous populations, detached from all 
outside influences. As in the case of many of their brethren 
in the Marrakesh Atlas, their common language was Berber, 
not Arabic. At the southwestern end of the Sous, the region 
of Noun, whose ancient center of Tagaost was destroyed and 
replaced by Goulimine, was the foremost supplier of ostrich 
feathers; from ancient times it was also one of the market out- 
lets for numerous Sahara caravans, which until the end of the 
19 th century carried the continents basic raw materials, such 
as slaves, ivory, ebony, pelts, and gold, from the heart of Africa. 
Some of the richest Jews controlled a vast part of this trade. 
In the 15 th and 16 th centuries their trade with the neighbor- 
ing Canary Islands was of great importance. Moreover, from 
1505 to 1540 a number of Marranos who had found shelter in 
those islands came to the Sous region and returned to Juda- 
ism. After 1880 almost every Jew became a retailer or a small 
artisan. Only after 1936 did the economic situation change 
somewhat for the better. 

The surplus Jewish population of the Sous was regularly 
sent to the urban centers of Morocco, especially to Marrakesh 
and *Mogador where they contributed to the overcrowding 
of the local mellahs. It is estimated that up to the 18 th century 
the Jewish communities of the Sous formed 20% of the to- 
tal Jewish population of Morocco. Droughts and epidemics 
of plague and cholera in 1799, 1805, 1818, and 1878 decimated 
the local population, and in 1884 Charles de Foucault esti- 
mated that there were about 7,000 persons. Adding some Jew- 
ish communities not included in his studies to his figure, the 
number of about 8,500 is arrived at. In 1951 A. de la Porte des 
Vaux - whose calculations are the most detailed and reliable 
among available statistics - estimated that there were 6,420. 
After 1955 the Jewish population literally evacuated the Sous 
en masse, the great majority immigrating to Israel. 

bibliography: V. Monteil, in: Hesperis, 33 (1946), 385-405; 
35 (1948), 151-62; J. Chaumeil, ibid., 40 (1953), 227-40; A. de la Porte 
des Vaux, in: Bulletin Economique et Social du Maroc (1952), 448-59, 
625-32; P. Flamand, Diaspora en Terre d'Islam (i960); D. Corcos, in: 
Sefunot, 10 (1966), 58-60, 72-75, 77-83. add. bibliography: D.J. 
Schroeter, Merchants ofEssaouria: Urban Society and Imperialism in 
Southwestern Morocco, 1844-1886 (1988). 

[David Corcos] 

SOUTH AFRICA, republic comprising nine provinces - 
Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, North West, 
Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State, and KwaZulu- 
Natal. Prior to 1994, when multiracial democracy was intro- 
duced, there were four provinces, viz. Cape, Natal, Orange 
Free State, and Transvaal. 

The first European settlement in southern Africa was 
founded in *Cape Town, today capital of the Western Cape, 
in 1652 by the Dutch. It became a British colony in 1806; Na- 
tal was a British colony from 1843; the Free State and the 
Transvaal, founded by Dutch (Afrikaner or Boer) emigrants 
from the Cape, were republics until annexed by Britain 
in 1902 after the Boer War. In 1910 the colonies were merged 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Roodepoort • 

• ir .1897 


Boksburg Benoni 
» 1898. * 1900 



Germiston Brakpan 





















! o 


Pretoria • 1906 




Krugersdorp* 1890 . Witbank 1887 





Kimberley # 


1894 • „ , ' ™' / 

Carletonville "Johannesburg / 

Potchefstroom • A° Vereeniging •Bethal / .' 

1895 . • AT* * 191? 1910 (SWAZILAND 

Klerksdorp r ^ Vanderbijl ( >~- 

1896 ° Park EASTERN v / 

r 1953 '>..- i 

z^-TV .Kroonstad TRANSVAAL 

(^ Welkom • 1904 • Vryheid 

^ 1955 .Bethlehem 1904 





^/^e Rive* 



Queenstown • 


Bellville 1903 



• 1903 

1924 " • * Paarl 

' !, • • Faarl 1884 
Cape Town Stellenbosch 
1841 1899 


_ 1883 

Graham stown 

tt- i I 843 * 


1901' * - 

D Port Elizabeth 



• Pietermaritzburg 
' .1902^ 

Durban ▲ 


East London 

1901 □ 

Historical Jewish communities of South Africa with dates of establishment. Main 21st century communities in boldface with population figures based on 
2004 census. (Discrepancies in dates in the records may be partially due to varied definitions of what constitutes the establishment of a congregation.) 

as the Union of South Africa under the British flag. In 1961 
the Union became a republic outside the British Common- 
wealth. Until 1994, South Africa was ruled by the white mi- 
nority. Black majority rule was ushered in by the country's 
first democratic, non-racial elections, held on April 27 of 
that year. 


Jewish associations with South Africa date back a long way. 
Jewish scientists and cartographers in Portugal contributed to 
the success of Vasco da Gam as voyage which led to the dis- 
covery of the Cape of Good Hope in 1497. Jewish merchants 
in Holland were associated with the Dutch East India Com- 
pany, which established the white settlement at the Cape in 
1652, and Jewish names appear in the early records of the set- 
tlement. These were probably converts to Christianity who 

had come to Holland from Central and Eastern Europe. The 
company required all its servants and settlers to be profess- 
ing Protestants. Identifiably Jewish settlement began only af- 
ter the introduction of complete religious tolerance under the 
Batavian Republic in 1804 and its confirmation by the British 
who took over the Cape in 1806. Enterprising Jewish individu- 
als then began to arrive, mainly from Germany and the Brit- 
ish Isles. Some made their way from Cape Town (where the 
first congregation was founded in 1841) deep into the interior 
and played pioneering roles in the development of what was 
then a backward country with a thinly scattered white popu- 
lation. Prominent individuals were Nathaniel ^Isaacs, Benja- 
min *Norden, Jonas *Bergtheil, the *Mosenthal brothers, the 
*Solomon family, and Joel * Rabinowitz. 

By the end of the 1860s, when the Jews in the Cape num- 
bered a few hundred families in a white population of some - 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



thing over two hundred thousand, there were two main cen- 
ters of Jewish settlement in the colony, the older in Cape Town 
and environs, and the other in the eastern region, mainly in 
Grahamstown, Tort Elizabeth and district, and GraaffReinet. 
Individuals - itinerant traders and storekeepers, with a few 
professional men - had also penetrated into the more remote 
inland areas. Though small in number, they made a signifi- 
cant contribution to the economic advancement of the coun- 
try and to its social and civic life. 

The opening up of the diamond fields in Griqualand West 
(*Kimberley) in 1869 and of the gold mines of the Witwa- 
tersrand in 1886, marked a turning point in the economic and 
political history of South Africa. From being predominantly 
pastoral, it developed rapidly into a modern industrial soci- 
ety. The new economic opportunities attracted Jews among 
the emigrants from Britain, Germany, and elsewhere on the 
continent of Europe, as well as from America and Australia, 
and other countries. They were the forerunners of the main- 
stream of Jewish immigrants who began to arrive from East- 
ern Europe in the 1880s, a tributary of the vast outflow escap- 
ing czarist oppression and economic deprivation and seeking 
freedom and new opportunity, of whom the majority found 
their way to North America. Many of these immigrants set- 
tled in Cape Town and nearby towns, but later spread to more 
distant rural areas, and also found their way to the goldfields 
in the Witwatersrand. Few villages in the Cape, the Orange 
Free State, and later in the Transvaal, were without their Jewish 
peddlers or storekeepers, who were usually joined in time by 
their families and kinsmen from overseas. They formed small 
communities, and in some cases (as in the ostrich feather cen- 
ter *Oudtshoorn) larger Jewish settlements. The mainstream 
of Jewish migration, however, flowed to ^Johannesburg and 
other towns on the Witwatersrand, which soon after the Boer 
War (1899-1902) - during which there was an exodus of war 
"refugees" - became the nucleus of the largest concentration 
of Jews in South Africa. There was also a smaller movement 
into Natal, particularly to ^Durban. 

The steady extension of Jewish settlement to the new 
areas was reflected in the dates when the first congregations 
were established: Kimberley - 1875; Oudtshoorn - 1883; Dur- 
ban - 1883; Johannesburg - 1887; ^Pretoria - 1890; *Bloem- 
fontein - 1876. 


Official statistics on immigration became available only after 
the Boer War (1899-1902), but it can be conjectured that the 
Jewish population in 1880 was about 4,000. Ten years later 
it had grown to about 10,000. Around 1900 it was in the vi- 
cinity of 25,000, and in the 1904 official census it had reached 
a total of some 38,000. These figures reflect clearly how the 
Jewish population was growing through the addition of new- 
comers from abroad. Between 1880 and 1910, some 40,000 
Jewish immigrants entered the country. Thereafter, for vari- 
ous reasons, the numbers decreased, with the exception of 
the years 1924 to 1930. In all, in the half-century from 1910 

to i960, it is estimated that there were perhaps 30,000 Jew- 
ish immigrants. 

Until about 1890, the majority of Jewish immigrants 
came from Britain, and in lesser numbers from Germany. 
Thereafter, the influx of "Russian" Jews (as the East Euro- 
pean Jews were officially designated) increased and within a 
couple of decades the "greeners" outnumbered the older ele- 
ments. They came predominantly (approximately 70%) from 
Lithuania and the other territories on the eastern shores of 
the Baltic (South African Jewry came to be described as "a 
colony of Lithuania") and also from Latvia, Poland, Belorus- 
sia, and further afield. In their escape from oppression and 
poverty in Eastern Europe the Jews who went to South Af- 
rica were encouraged by success stories of individuals, reports 
of the sympathetic attitude of the Boers (Afrikaners) to Jews 
as the "Chosen People," the helping hand stretched out by 
older settlers, and inflated stories of the fortunes made from 
the gold mines. Most of the East Europeans at first encountered 
great hardships and difficulties economically before achiev- 
ing prosperity. South Africa's attitude to Jewish immigration 
was influenced by various factors, among them conservative 
official policies in regard to immigration generally, partly 
due to the internal struggle between the rival English-speak- 
ing and Afrikaner sections of the population. The chang- 
ing political and economic situation in the country, and at 
times, the relatively high proportion of Jews among immi- 
grants from alien (non-British) countries, also played their 

Although, in an overall historical perspective, and by 
comparison with other countries, South Africa's attitude was 
not an unfavorable one, Jewish leaders frequently felt the need 
for vigilance against discrimination, and at certain periods 
Jewish immigration became a subject of intensive political agi- 
tation (see below, legal and social status). In 1902, Jewish im- 
migrants faced a crisis because a new literacy test at the Cape 
(designed to exclude Asiatics) called for the ability to read and 
write "in the characters of a European language." There were 
moves to deny this status to Yiddish because it was written in 
Hebrew characters, but the language was officially accorded 
recognition in the Cape Immigration Law of 1906. This pro- 
vision was also incorporated after Union in the basic Immi- 
gration Act of 1913. In the early 1920s Jewish communal lead- 
ers were engaged in a lengthy dispute with the government 
on the interpretation of the immigration laws, which had 
resulted in severe restrictions on economic grounds. These 
restrictions were removed in 1924, but the increased Jewish 
immigration which followed led in 1930 to the enactment of 
a law generally referred to as the "Quota Act." This did not 
restrict Jewish immigration per se but by imposing numeri- 
cal limitation upon all immigration from specified countries 
of Eastern and southern Europe, it substantially reduced the 
admission of Jewish immigrants. Soon afterward the influx 
of Jewish refugees, from Nazi Germany - and especially the 
dramatic arrival in 1936 of a chartered boat, the Stuttgart, with 
537 German Jewish refugees on board - resulted in a major 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Jews in South Africa 





























agitation and precipitated the enactment of the "Aliens Act" 
of 1937. This law gave plenary powers to an Immigrants Selec- 
tion Board, which was required, among other considerations, 
to apply the criterion of "assimilability." The number of Jewish 
refugees from Germany then dropped considerably, the total 
between 1933 and 1940 being approximately 5,500. 

During World War 11, Jewish immigration virtually 
ceased and in the immediate postwar period was largely lim- 
ited to aged parents and children of persons already living 
in South Africa and to other specified categories. Following 
the virtual destruction, in the Holocaust, of the communities 
from which South Africa had drawn its Jewish immigrants, 
as well as the movement toward the State of Israel, the over- 
all figure of Jewish immigration to South Africa dropped to a 
few hundred annually. 

demographic aspects. The growth of the South African 
Jewish population through both immigration and natural 
increase is shown in the Table; figures are based on official 
census returns: 

Until 1936, when the proportion of Jews in the popula- 
tion reached its peak of 4.52%, the annual Jewish increase was 
proportionately higher than that of the white population gen- 
erally. In the succeeding 25 years (1936-1960), however, it was 
only 1.77% compared with 2.26% for the white population as a 
whole, and in the decade 1950 to i960, it was only one-half of 
the general figure. The relative decline of the Jewish percentage 
was due to the restrictive immigration laws; the lower birth 
rate of Jews compared with that of the general white popula- 
tion; a certain amount of emigration; and the higher number 
of Jews in the older age groups. 

In the early years, the high masculinity in sex distribu- 
tion was similar to that of all typical immigrant communities, 
but later it dropped sharply. In 1904, there were 25,864 males 
and 12,237 females, while by i960, males numbered 57,198 and 
females 57,563. The proportion of foreign- born to local-born 
Jews had also radically changed. Whereas in 1936, 46.69% were 
South African-born (for females the figure was 50%), the large 
majority are now South African-born. 

In 1970, according to the official census of that year, the 
Jewish population reached an all-time high of 118,200. This 
figure remained static during the next decade, with losses 
to emigration being partially offset by immigration from 
Rhodesia (today ^Zimbabwe), other African countries, and 
Israel. The Jewish population declined precipitously during 
the 1980s as a result of social, economic, and political unrest. 
The adjusted 1991 census, when adjusted upwards based on 
the national percentage of those who omitted the "religion" 
question on the census form, gave the Jewish population as 
91,925, comprising 1.8% of the white population and 0.3% of 
the total population. 

According to the 2001 census, this figure had declined 
still further. A total of 61,670 whites gave their religion as Jew- 
ish, suggesting a total of between 72,000 and 75,000 when 
the proportion of those who omitted the religion question 
was taken into account. These were overwhelmingly concen- 
trated in the three provinces of Gauteng (47,700, more than 
90% of whom lived in Johannesburg), Western Cape (18,360, 
mainly in Cape Town), KwaZulu-Natal (3,470, mainly in 
Durban) and Eastern Cape (1,390, mainly Port Elizabeth and 
East London), while the combined total of the remaining five 
provinces was estimated at about 1,500. Once a substantial 
proportion of the total, the number of Jews still living in rural 
districts had declined to a few hundred, mainly elderly peo- 
ple. Despite the steep decline in the Jewish population, there 
were signs early in the new century that Jewish emigration 
was leveling off and that a modest influx of new immigrants, 
as well as some returning emigrants, was beginning to swell 
its ranks once more. 

Legal and Social Status 

As an integral part of the white population, Jews have full 
equality and participate in all aspects of South Africa's na- 
tional, political, civic, economic, and cultural life. During the 
white minority rule years, although the usual forms of anti- 
Jewish prejudice in gentile societies were occasionally encoun- 
tered, both of the main white population groups - the Eng- 
lish-speaking and the Afrikaans -speaking - remained faithful, 
generally speaking, to the traditions of religious tolerance 
which characterized the homelands - England and the Neth- 
erlands - from which their forefathers came. In the post-1994 
era, there has been little evidence of anti- Jewish sentiment in 
the majority black population, with antisemitism being pri- 
marily confined to elements within the Muslim community. 
There have nevertheless been periods in South Africa's 
history when Jews faced special problems which arose, in par- 
ticular, from the complex racial and political tensions of the 
country. There were exceptional periods when the status of 
Jews was challenged. While the Cape was under the control of 
the Dutch East India Company prior to 1795 (see above), and 
all in the Company's service had to profess the Christian Re- 
formed religion, there could be no professing Jews in the coun- 
try until a liberal religious policy was introduced. Thereafter, 
however, whether in the British or the Afrikaner territories, 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Jews enjoyed religious tolerance and freedom of conscience. 
Indeed, a notably sympathetic attitude was shown by the Boers 
toward the early Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. 

The situation in the Afrikaner Transvaal Republic, how- 
ever, differed from that in the Orange Free State, where full 
equality was enjoyed by the Jews. The Grondwet (constitution) 
of the Transvaal Republic (1864; reaffirmed in 1896) stipulated 
that membership in the Volksraad (parliament) and also the 
holding of official positions in the state service, were to be 
restricted to Christian Protestants. Catholics, and also Jews, 
were consequently debarred from military posts and from the 
offices of the presidency, state secretary, and Landdrost, nor 
could they become members of the first or second Volksraad 
or superintendents of the natives or of mines. These disabili- 
ties applied even to individuals who had become burghers of 
the republic. There were also educational disabilities: as educa- 
tion had to be based on a strictly Christian Protestant religious 
foundation, Catholic and Jewish children were debarred from 
attending government schools and their parochial schools 
were denied state aid. These disabilities did not arise from ex- 
pressly anti- Jewish motives, but flowed from the rather harsh 
Calvinist constitution of the republic. In the last years of the 
republic, Jewish deputations to the government sought to have 
them removed, but without success. Eventually in 1899, Presi- 
dent Kruger tried unsuccessfully to persuade the Volksraad to 
replace the requirement of the Grondwet that all members of 
the Raad must be Protestant by a provision that they must "be- 
lieve in the revelation of God through His Word in the Bible." 
The Jews in the Transvaal reacted variously to these disabilities 
which were also somewhat obscured by the fact that the Jews 
were in most cases foreigners (uitlanders) with their own far- 
reaching grievances. Such limitations also did not weigh much 
upon the relatively recent arrivals from Eastern Europe, who 
appreciated their situation in the Boer republic, so markedly 
in contrast to the oppressive conditions of czarist Russia. All 
the disabilities disappeared when the Transvaal republic came 
under British rule in 1902. Thereafter, whether under the co- 
lonial regimes in the Transvaal and in the rest of the country 
prior to Union in 1910 or subsequently, Jewish citizens living 
in South Africa enjoyed legal equality in all respects. 

However, further immigration of Jews, more particu- 
larly from Eastern Europe, did periodically become a public 
issue. In the 1930s the influx of refugees from Nazi Germany 
led to active agitation for the complete prohibition of Jewish 
immigration. In the result, while no specific anti- Jewish pro- 
visions were written into the immigration laws, restrictions 
were introduced which were expressly designed to cut down 
the flow of Jewish immigrants. The supporters of these restric- 
tive policies were not confined to one political party only, and 
many disclaimed an anti-Jewish prejudice, asserting that the 
measures were necessary to prevent the growth of antisemi- 
tism by maintaining the existing balance between the various 
elements of the white population. (South Africa never favored 
an open-door immigration policy, the Afrikaans-speaking 
section, in particular, often contending that the aliens were a 

threat to the economic and political status of the established 

South Africa became the scene of open antisemitic agita- 
tion among certain sections of the population - not shared by 
the majority of the citizens - from the time of the accession of 
the Nazis in Germany in 1933 until the end of World War 11. 
Organized antisemitic movements arose, among them the 
"shirt" movements like the Greyshirts, Blackshirts, and South 
African Fascists, and semi-political bodies like the Ossewa 
Brandwag and the New Order, with fully- fledged National 
Socialist programs. These developments eventually had their 
impact upon the official opposition party, the National Party, 
which in 1937 included a plank on the "Jewish question" in its 
official program. Its demands included the total prohibition 
of further Jewish immigration, stronger control over natu- 
ralization, and the introduction of a "quota" system for Jews 
in various branches of economic life. In Transvaal province, 
too (but not in the other provinces), Jews were banned from 
membership in the National Party. When the United Party 
government, headed by Jan Christiaan *Smuts, declared war 
against Germany in 1939, the National Party formally pro- 
claimed its neutrality. 

The anti-Jewish agitation grew more subdued as World 
War 11 moved to its climax and sharp ideological differences 
emerged within the National Party. The moderate elements 
finally gained the upper hand, and in his political manifesto 
prior to the general election in May 1948, the Nationalist 
Party leader, Daniel Francois Malan, later prime minister, an- 
nounced a new policy. Denying that the party's attitude on im- 
migration was motivated by anti-Jewish feelings, he affirmed 
positively that his party did not support discriminatory mea- 
sures between Jew and non-Jew who were already resident 
in the country. Consistently with that declaration, when the 
National Party won the election and became the government, 
Malan announced his goal to be the removal of the "Jewish 
question" from the life and politics of South Africa. The rees- 
tablishment of confidence was not effected without difficulty. 
Jews generally tended to hold aloof from the National Party. 
However it fulfilled its pledge not to countenance antisemi- 
tism in public life. Successive National Party prime ministers 
reaffirmed government policy to be one of equality and non- 
discrimination between all sections of the white population. 

Apart from the 1930s and early 1940s, antisemitism has 
never manifested as a serious problem in South Africa and 
Jews continue to participate fully in all aspects of national life 
on the basis of equality. Levels of recorded antisemitic inci- 
dents have been dramatically lower than those of other ma- 
jor Diaspora communities, consistently averaging around 30 
annually. During the apartheid years, most antisemitic activ- 
ity emanated from the white extreme right. During the 1980s 
and 1990s, the community became increasingly perturbed 
by the growing prevalence of organized neo-Nazi move- 
ments and other antisemitic organizations. Among these 
were the Afrikaanse Weerstands Beweging (Afrikaner Resis- 
tance Movement), Boerenasie, and the Blanke Bevrydingsbe- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


weging (White Liberation Movement). These organizations 
largely ceased to operate following the transition to major- 
ity rule in 1994. 

In recent years, most antisemitism has emanated from 
radical elements within South Africa's large Muslim minority, 
numbering around 800,000 in 2001 (about 2% of the popula- 
tion). The post-1994 ethos in the country, however, is strongly 
anti-racist, with numerous laws - including a comprehensive 
Bill of Rights in the Constitution - proscribing any form of 
abuse, discrimination, or hate speech based on race, color, 
creed, or ethnicity. 

Communal Organization and Structure 

historical survey. The earliest pattern of communal or- 
ganization was established by Jews of German, English, and 
Dutch extraction. Their congregations provided elementary 
facilities for worship, classes for Hebrew and religious instruc- 
tion of the young, and philanthropic aid, and also attended to 
the rites for the dead. The authority of the chief rabbi of Eng- 
land was accepted in ecclesiastical matters. Joel Rabinowitz (of- 
ficiated 1859-82), Abraham Frederick *Ornstein, and Alfred 
P. *Bender (1895-1937), all of whom administered to the Cape 
Town Congregation, and Samuel I. Rapaport (1872-95), the 
minister in Port Elizabeth, all emigrated from England. 

By the end of the 19 th century or soon after, the "greener" 
East Europeans had broken away from the "English" syna- 
gogues in most communities to form their own congrega- 
tions. Their parochial loyalties were reflected in the many 
separate associations for religious worship and talmudic study 
and the numerous *Landsmannschaften (fraternal associa- 
tions) of persons who had come from the same town or vil- 
lage in Lithuania or Poland. Leading rabbinical personalities 
in this formative period were: in Johannesburg, Judah Loeb 
*Landau (officiated 1903-42), from Galicia; the more "West- 
ernized" Joseph Herman *Hertz (1898-1911) who arrived via 
the United States (he later became chief rabbi of the British 
Empire); Moshal Friedman (beginning in 1891), from Lithu- 
ania; Chief Rabbis L.I. ^Rabinowitz (1945-61); B.M. Caspar 
(1963-1988) and C.K. Harris (1988-2004) and in the Cape, 
M.Ch. Mirvish (d. 1947), also from Lithuania and I. *Abra- 
hams (1937-68). In lay matters, Jews of English and German 
origin usually took the lead, but East Europeans also began 
to assert their influence. 

The communal structure gradually underwent change 
in response to the new social forces - the slowing down of 
immigration, increasing acculturation and growing homo- 
geneity. Splinter congregations rejoined the older synagogues 
or new amalgamations took place. By the 1940s most of the 
Landsmannschaften had disappeared or continued to survive 
on nostalgic memories. Emerging social and cultural needs 
called forth a variety of new institutions, such as the lodges 
of the Hebrew Order of David, the Zionist and Young Israel 
Societies, the branches of the Union of Jewish Women, the 
*B'nai B rith Lodges, the Ex- Servicemen's organizations, the 
^Reform movement in religious life, Jewish social and sports 

clubs and, since the early 1990s, communal security organi- 
zations. Important work in social outreach and uplift ment in 
the non-Jewish community is carried out by such organiza- 
tions as MaAfrika Tikkun, the Union of Jewish Women, the 
United Sisterhood and ort -South Africa, amongst others. In- 
creased communal cohesion began to be reflected in the orga- 
nizational structure of education, congregational affairs and 
philanthropy, and overall communal representation. However, 
older forms of organization, inherited or adapted from the 
East European tradition, yielded slowly to change. The most 
striking exceptions were in the Hebrew educational sphere 
and in the proliferation of Jewish sports clubs. 

The main concentration of Jewish communities is now 
in two areas: the Johannesburg- Pretoria complex in the north, 
and the Cape Peninsula in the south, where 66% and 25% re- 
spectively of the Jewish population now live. Because of the 
geographic distance and differences of outlook, the regional 
bodies in the south until fairly recently maintained virtually 
autonomous religious and educational organizations parallel 
to the national bodies up north. However, since the mid-1980s 
the trend has been toward greater coordination and unity, as 
shown, inter alia, by the establishment of a national Union of 
Orthodox Synagogues and Bet Din in 1987. All the major na- 
tional Jewish bodies have their headquarters in Johannesburg, 
which has now become the focal point of Jewish life. 

religious institutions. The great majority of Hebrew 
congregations in South Africa, about 85% of the total, are 
Orthodox, with most of the remainder being Reform (Pro- 
gressive). The Conservative movement as known in America 
virtually does not exist in South Africa, apart from the small 
Shalom Masorti Independent Congregation in Johannesburg, 
formed after one of the Reform congregations broke away 
from the Progressive movement in 1992. 

In 1966, there were 29 Orthodox congregations and 
four Reform temples in Johannesburg and 12 Orthodox con- 
gregations and two Reform temples in Cape Town. In 2004, 
the number of Orthodox congregations in Johannesburg had 
grown to 51 while the Reform temples had declined to three. 
In Cape Town, the number of Orthodox congregations had 
increased to 18 and Reform Temples to three. There is at least 
one Orthodox and one Reform congregation each in Dur- 
ban, Port Elizabeth, and East London. Outside of the main 
urban centers, virtually all of the smaller country synagogues 
had closed, with those remaining functioning only with great 

The Union of Orthodox Synagogues of South Africa 
(uos) is the umbrella body for Orthodox congregations 
throughout South Africa and has affiliated to it most Ortho- 
dox congregations countrywide. It consists of just under 100 
synagogues (including many shtiebels) and claims a member- 
ship enrollment of approximately 20,000 families. The uos 
appoints and maintains the office of the chief rabbi and the 
Bet Din (ecclesiastical court). At the end of 2004, Scottish- 
born Rabbi Cyril Harris, who had served as a rabbi in London 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



before coming to South Africa, retired after seventeen years 
as chief rabbi and was replaced by Rabbi Dr. Warren Gold- 
stein, the first locally born rabbi to have been appointed to 
the position. 

There is a single national Bet Din, based in Johannesburg 
with an office in Cape Town. This deals with conversions to the 
Jewish faith, the issuance of divorces, supervision of kashrut, 
and similar matters. Although the uos established and main- 
tains the Bet Din, and also appoints the dayyanim, the Bet Din 
is an independent body, exercising supreme plenary authority 
in Orthodox religious matters. The uos publishes a quarterly 
magazine, Jewish Tradition. There is an Orthodox Rabbinical 
Association of South Africa, its members being drawn from 
the clergy of all parts of the country. 

The period after 1970 saw young people becoming pro- 
gressively more involved in religious life, in part because of 
more religion -foe used Jewish day schools such as Yeshiva 
College and also because of the advent of dynamic outreach 
movements such as the Kollel Yad Shaul, Chabad (Lubavitch), 
Ohr Somayach, and Aish HaTorah. Johannesburg in particular 
is today widely regarded as a model baal teshuvah (return to 
Orthodoxy) community, while Cape Town and Pretoria were 
also experiencing an upsurge in religiosity by the turn of the 
century. The impressive growth of the baal teshuvah move- 
ment was shown by the proliferation of shtiebls (small syna- 
gogues, characterized by a high level of observance amongst 
its members) in Johannesburg, which numbered over 30 in 

The Progressive movement was started in South Africa 
in 1933 by Rabbi Moses Cyrus Weiler (1907-2000) and was 
later led by Rabbi Arthur Saul Super (1908-1979) in the teeth 
of strong Orthodox opposition. The Reform movement be- 
came established in all the larger communities, at its height 
claiming support from about 20% of the whole Jewish popu- 
lation. This had declined to between 10 and 15% by the end of 
the century. In South Africa Reform has been relatively con- 
servative in its religious approach, avoiding some of the radi- 
cal manifestations of the American movement, and it has al- 
ways been strongly pro- Zionist. In contrast to the Orthodox 
synagogues, which confined their activities largely within the 
Jewish community, Reform congregations broke new ground 
by adopting programs for Christian-Jewish goodwill and by 
fostering social welfare projects among non- whites, particu- 
larly for children. Several Orthodox congregations, notably 
the prestigious Oxford shul in Johannesburg, subsequently 
also became involved in social outreach and upliftment proj- 
ects in the general community. 

The Progressive congregations are associated together in 
the South African Union for Progressive Judaism, religious is- 
sues being handled by a central ecclesiastical board. The latter 
consists of rabbis and a few laymen, with a rabbi elected an- 
nually as its chairman. The ladies guilds in Orthodox syna- 
gogues are affiliated to the Federation of Synagogues' Ladies 
Guilds, and the Reform sisterhoods to the National Union of 
Temple Sisterhoods. 

Both Orthodox and Reform congregations for many 
years had difficulties in finding rabbis and ministers. The 
sources in Europe which provided them with trained and ex- 
perienced ministers no longer existed. By the closing years 
of the 20 th century, however, an increasing number of the 
community's Orthodox rabbis were emerging from locally 
established rabbinical training institutions, most notably the 
Yeshiva Gedolah. Many products of the religious day schools, 
moreover, were returning to South Africa after gaining semi- 
khah overseas, and serving the community both from the pul- 
pit and as teachers within the burgeoning Jewish day school 


representative organization, the South African Jewish Board 
of Deputies, is recognized by Jews and non- Jews alike as the 
authorized spokesman for the community. It is charged with 
safeguarding the equal rights and status of Jews as citizens and 
generally protecting Jewish interests. A Board for the Trans- 
vaal was formed in 1903, on the initiative of Max *Langerman 
and Rabbi Joseph Hertz, with the encouragement of the High 
Commissioner, Lord *Milner, and was named after its proto- 
type in England. At first it encountered opposition from the 
Zionists. Among its early leaders were Bernard ^Alexander, 
Manfred *Nathan, and Siegfried Raphaely An independent 
Board for the Cape was formed in 1904 through the efforts of 
Morris ^Alexander and David Goldblatt, despite opposition 
from the Rev. Alfred P. Bender and his congregation. 

Following the unification of the four provinces in 1910, 
the two bodies were unified in the South African Board of 
Deputies (1912). Its main concern was to prevent discrimina- 
tion against Jews in respect of immigration and naturalization 
and to rebut defamatory attacks on Jews. It led the commu- 
nity's efforts in rendering relief to Jews in Europe after World 
War 1, and later was active also on behalf of German Jewry 
and the displaced persons of World War 11 through the in- 
strumentality of the South African Jewish Appeal (1942). A 
relatively small and weak body, the Board underwent reorga- 
nization in the early 1930s to meet the challenge of Nazism 
and antisemitism. While Johannesburg remained the head- 
quarters, provincial committees were set up in Cape Town - 
the seat of Parliament - Durban, Port Elizabeth, East Lon- 
don, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein. The position of chairman 
of the executive council was held by Cecil Lyons (1935-40); 
Gerald N. Lazarus (1940-45); Simon M. Kuper (1945-49); 
Israel A. *Maisels (1949-51); Edel J. Horwitz (1951-55); Na- 
mie Philips (1955-60); Teddy Schneider (1960-65); Maurice 
Porter (1965-70); David Mann (1970-74), Julius Rosetten- 
stein (1974-78), Israel Abramowitz (1979-83), Michael Katz 
(1983-87), Gerald Leissner (1987-91), Mervyn Smith (1991-95), 
Marlene Bethlehem (1995-99), Russell Gaddin (1999-2003), 
and Michael Bagraim (from 2003). Its secretary and later gen- 
eral secretary for many years was Gustav Saron. Aleck Gold- 
berg held this position for most of the 1980s while Seymour 
Kopelowitz did so for most of the next decade. As new needs 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


had to be met, the Board became a functional agency in vari- 
ous fields. Today, it publishes a quarterly journal, Jewish Af- 
fairs, runs a Country Communities Department to cater to 
the needs of Jews still living in isolated country areas, main- 
tains in Johannesburg an important library of Jewish informa- 
tion and archives relating to South African Jewry, and pub- 
lishes information on the community through its website and 
communal directories. In 1993 it also took the lead in found- 
ing, and subsequently in running, the ^African Jewish Con- 
gress, a representative and coordinating body for the Jewish 
communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is frequent con- 
sultation and cooperation between the Board and the Zionist 
Federation. In 1949 the Board launched the United Commu- 
nal Fund (ucf) for South African Jewry, which provides the 
budgets - in whole or in part - of the Board itself, and of a 
number of other important communal organizations, includ- 
ing the Office of the Chief Rabbi, Community Security Or- 
ganisation, Union of Jewish Women (ujw) and S.A. Board of 
Jewish Education. The ucf combined with the Israel United 
Appeal in 1984 to form the iua-ucf. In line with important 
rationalization initiatives introduced during the late 1990s, 
the Board, Zionist Federation, iua-ucf, ujw, S.A. Union of 
Jewish Students, and a number of other, smaller, Zionist and 
Jewish communal organizations today share single premises 
in all the major Jewish centers country- wide. 

philanthropy. Institutions to assist the poor and needy 
early became an established feature of communal organiza- 
tion. In the wake more particularly of the East European im- 
migration, there was a proliferation of many kinds of philan- 
thropic institutions or fraternal bodies having philanthropic 
objects, such as Landsmannschaften, free-loan societies, so- 
cieties to visit the sick, and especially for the provision of fi- 
nancial and material help to those in need. Many of these 
institutions bore the hallmark and followed the methods of 
East European traditions of zedakah. Today, for instance, the 
largest welfare body in Johannesburg, the Chevra Kaddisha 
combines extensive philanthropic work with the activities of 
a burial society. The organizational structure and also the un- 
derlying principles of Jewish social welfare subsequently un- 
derwent changes under the impact of changing social condi- 
tions. In recent years, the Chevra Kaddisha has incorporated a 
number of other important welfare institutions under its um- 
brella, amongst them the two Jewish aged homes Sandringham 
Gardens and Our Parents Home, Jewish Community Services, 
the Jewish Women's Benevolent Society, and the Arcadia Jew- 
ish Orphanage. Other important welfare institutions include 
the free-loan societies, the Witwatersrand Hebrew Benevo- 
lent Association (founded 1893) and the more recent Ram- 
bam Trust, the Selwyn Segal Home for Jewish Handicapped 
(1959), Yad Aharon, Hatzollah (medical rescue), Kadimah 
Occupational Centre, B'nai B rith, and Nechama (bereave- 
ment counseling). 

Leading bodies in the Cape include the Astra Centre (in- 
corporating Jewish Sheltered Employment), B'nai B'rith, Cape 

Jewish Welfare Council, Glendale Home for the Intellectu- 
ally Disabled, Hebrew Helping Hand Association, Highlands 
House (Jewish Aged Home), and Jewish Community Services 
(incorporating Jewish Board of Guardians, founded 1859, and 
the Jewish Sick Relief Society). The Jewish community has 
assumed financial responsibility for all its welfare needs, the 
large budgets being met by fees, membership dues, contribu- 
tions, and bequests. Some advantage has been taken of gov- 
ernment grants for specific welfare projects. 

fraternal organizations. In the first decades of the 20 th 
century many of the communal organizations provided some 
form of philanthropic and fraternal services to assist the inte- 
gration of the immigrant generation. As late as 1929, of the 68 
Jewish institutions in Johannesburg then affiliated to the Board 
of Deputies, 38 were either wholly or partly philanthropic. An 
indigenous South African institution of this type, the Hebrew 
Order of David, founded successive lodges after 1904 and, as 
members began to be recruited among the South African-born 
generation, added social, cultural, and communal objectives. 
The Grand Lodge has its headquarters in Johannesburg. 

union of Jewish women. In the women's sphere the Union 
of Jewish Women of South Africa plays a major role. The first 
branch was formed in Johannesburg in 1931 and a national 
body in 1936. In 1969 the Union had 64 branches throughout 
the republic with a total membership of between 9,000 and 
10,000 women, its national headquarters being in Johannes- 
burg. The subsequent concentration of most Jews in the main 
urban centers, with the resultant closure of most rural and 
small town branches, saw the number of branches shrinking 
to 10 by 2004, with a total membership of about 7,500 women. 
The Union maintains a wide range of activities and acts as a 
coordinating body for Jewish women's organizations. A dis- 
tinctive aspect of its program is its nondenominational work, 
educational and philanthropic, serving all sections of the pop- 
ulation. Some branches run creches and feeding depots for in- 
digent colored and African children and adults. Branches of 
the Union have established Hebrew nursery schools, friend- 
ship clubs, services for the aged, youth projects, and a wide 
program of adult education. In recent years, the ujw has be- 
come extensively involved in hiv/aids relief work. 

education. There are a plethora of Jewish day schools in 
Johannesburg and Cape Town, all of which provide a com- 
plete secular education, with Jewish studies integrated into 
the general curriculum, up to matriculation standard. The 
mainstream schools in Johannesburg are the three King David 
schools, located in Linksfield, Victory Park, and Sandton. The 
first two provide Jewish education from pre-school to ma- 
triculation level while the third goes up to primary school 
level. King David's counterparts in Cape Town are the Herzlia 
schools, while there is also a small Jewish day school in Port 
Elizabeth, Theodor Herzl. 

The ideological basis of the King David, Herzlia, and 
Theodor Herzl schools is officially described as "broadly na- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



tional traditional," a formula intended to indicate both the 
religious and the Zionist character of the education. Pupils 
receive a full education following a state syllabus and a Jew- 
ish studies program, including religion, history, literature, and 
Hebrew language. The mainstream Jewish day schools accept 
children of mixed marriages and Reform converts. However, 
many demanded more intensive religious instruction and 
greater religious observance. Protagonists of this type of edu- 
cation, together with Bnei Akiva religious youth movement, 
created in 1958 Yeshiva College, originally established as the 
Bnei Akiva Yeshiva seven years previously. This developed 
into a full-time day school from nursery school up to matric- 
ulation and steadily grew from an initial few dozen pupils to 
well over 800 by the turn of the century. In 1995, the school 
received the Jerusalem Prize for Jewish Education in the Dias- 
pora. Yeshiva College could be regarded as centrist Orthodox 
in its approach. More right-wing Orthodox schools that sub- 
sequently were established include Torah Academy and Cape 
Town's Hebrew Academy (both under Chabad's auspices), Ye- 
shivas Toras Ernes, Shaarei Torah, Bais Yaakov, Hirsch Lyons, 
and Yeshiva Maharsha. 

The Progressive movement also maintains a network of 
supplementary Hebrew and religious classes at its temples. 
These schools are affiliated with the Union for Progressive 
Jewish Education. 

Overall supervision of the King David schools is un- 
dertaken by the South African Board of Jewish Education 
(sabje), established in 1928, which operates from headquar- 
ters in Johannesburg. Affiliates include Yeshiva College and 
Torah Academy in Johannesburg, Theodor Herzl in Port Eliz- 
abeth, and the Herzlia schools in Cape Town. The sabje has 
direct responsibility, both financial and administrative, for the 
Jewish day schools in Johannesburg. It also involves itself with 
Jewish children who attend state schools and whose main ac- 
cess to Jewish education is through the Cheder program and by 
means of religious instruction booklets sent into the schools. 
It administers a network of Hebrew nursery schools accord- 
ing to the standards laid down by the Nursery School Associa- 
tion of South Africa. The Cape Council of the South African 
Jewish Board of Education has its own religious instruction 
program for Jewish pupils who attend the state schools in the 
Western Cape Province. 

In 2003, over 80% of school-going Jewish children in Jo- 
hannesburg, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth (whose Theodor 
Herzl School by then had a mainly non-Jewish enrollment) 
were attending one of the Jewish day schools. Those still in 
government schools had their Jewish educational require- 
ments catered to by the United Hebrew Schools (under the 
sabje) in Johannesburg and the Religious Instruction De- 
partment of the sajbe in Cape Town. Jewish pupils in Preto- 
ria and Durban received Jewish education through a special 
department at the Crawford College branches. This arrange- 
ment came about following the take-over of the Carmel Col- 
lege Jewish day schools in those cities by Crawford during 
the 1990s. The total pupil enrollment in the day schools in 

2004 was about 8,000, substantially more than the 1969 fig- 
ure of 6,000 even though the overall Jewish community had 
by then declined by more than a third. Government policy 
precludes financial support to new private schools, of what- 
ever denomination, and financing of Jewish education re- 
mains a problem. 

At the tertiary level, university students are able to take 
Jewish studies through the Semitics Department of the Uni- 
versity of South Africa (unisa); the Department of Hebrew 
and Jewish Studies of Natal University; and the Department 
of Hebrew and Jewish Studies (including the Isaac and Jessie 
Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research) at the Uni- 
versity of Cape Town. 

Programs of adult education continue to be provided by 
the sabje, the South African Zionist Federation and the vari- 
ous affiliates, including most particularly the Union of Jewish 
Women, the Women's Zionist Council and the South African 
Zionist Youth Council. Other bodies, which have significantly 
contributed to the general cultural life of South African Jewry, 
include the Histadrut Ivrit, Yiddish Cultural Federation and 
the South African National Yad Vashem Foundation. Courses 
of Jewish study are offered at the University of Natal in Dur- 
ban, and the University of South Africa. 

Social Life 

influence of immigration streams. Following the 
congregational beginnings in Cape Town in 1841, loss of iden- 
tity through assimilation was gradually arrested, although 
the immigrants became quickly integrated into the general 
economic and cultural life. In secular matters, as also in re- 
ligious, they maintained ties with Anglo -Jewry, and this tra- 
dition was followed also by the immigrants from Germany. 
The latter, socially influential, often assumed the leadership, 
but do not appear to have made a specifically German- Jewish 
cultural contribution. 

The growing numbers of East Europeans led in time 
to social, religious, and cultural ferment. Social distance, 
and even open friction and conflict, developed between the 
"greeners" and the older sections, due to differences in ritual 
tradition, in intensity of religious observance, or in attitudes 
to Jewish education and Zionism. Nonetheless, many aspects 
of the Anglo-Jewish pattern persisted, although it underwent 
changes in spirit and content. 

Elements of the legacy of Lithuanian Jewry may be iden- 
tified in certain characteristics of South African Jewry: gener- 
ous support for all philanthropic endeavors, respect for Jewish 
scholarship and learning, exemplified in the status accorded 
to the rabbinate and concern for Jewish education; and a con- 
servative outlook toward religious observance (at least in ex- 
ternals). However, as the community became largely South 
African-born and homogeneous, the barriers that formerly 
separated the various immigrant groups all but disappeared. 
The Yiddish language, the only vernacular used by the East 
European immigrants, became confined to a small minority. 
(In the 1936 census, 17,861 persons declared Yiddish as their 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


home language; by 1946 the figure was 14,044, and in 1951, it 
had fallen to 9,970. In i960, of the large Jewish population in 
Johannesburg, only 2,786 declared Yiddish to be their home 
language). By 2004, only a handful remained. 


trends of acculturation and integration - linguistic, cultural, 
and economic - were accelerated by the rapid rise in the ma- 
terial condition of many Jews. South African Jewry has thus 
far escaped large-scale manifestations of assimilation and 
maintains a vigorous group life. A major community survey 
jointly conducted in 1998 by the Institute for Jewish Policy Re- 
search (U.K.) and Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Re- 
search (Cape Town) showed remarkably high levels of Jewish 
identification, both in the religious and Zionist sphere, and 
an intermarriage rate of less than 10%. Various factors have 
contributed to this. During the apartheid years, the country's 
cultural and political climate, which emphasizes the distinc- 
tiveness of the various linguistic, cultural, and ethnic groups 
of the population, and especially the coexistence of the Eng- 
lish and Afrikaans language and culture, was favorable to the 
preservation of a separate Jewish group life. There was no 
pressure upon the Jew to drop his identity or to become an 
"unhyphenated" South African. This has continued into the 
post-1994 era, where the right of ethnic and religious commu- 
nities to express their identity within the greater multicultural 
society is constitutionally protected, and indeed encouraged. 
The advent of democracy has therefore scarcely impinged, if 
at all, on Jewish identity, which has in fact been considerably 
strengthened by the strong upsurge in religiosity, particularly 
in Johannesburg. 

the Zionist movement. The greatest influence, however - 
itself part of the Lithuanian heritage - has been exerted by the 
Zionist movement in the evolution of South African Jewry. 
Lithuanian Jewry's support of *Hibbat Zion was continued by 
the emigrants to South Africa. There was at first lukewarm- 
ness, and even active opposition, from some of the older an- 
glicized groups, some right-wing Orthodox ministers, and also 
a small group of *Bund members and socialists. In time, how- 
ever, the Zionist outlook achieved an unchallenged position. 
Even before the first Basle Congress in 1897, there were a 
few Hovevei Zion societies in the country. An association of 
Zionist societies in the Transvaal, formed in 1898, convened 
a countrywide conference which led to the creation of the 
South African Zionist Federation, the first all-national Jewish 
body. The first all- South African Zionist conference was held 
in 1905. Although the fortunes of the Zionist movement fluc- 
tuated in the post-Herzl era, its strength was revealed during 
World War 1, when the first South African Jewish Congress 
was held in Johannesburg, in April 1916, convened jointly by 
the Zionist Federation and the Board of Deputies in order 
to mobilize public opinion for the Jewish claim to Palestine. 
Zionist activity expanded greatly in the post-*Balfour Declara- 
tion period, owing much to its effective leaders, among them, 
Samuel Goldreich, Jacob *Gitlin, Idel Schwartz, A.M. Abra- 

hams, Rabbi J.H. Hertz, Rabbi J.L. Landau, Benzion Hersch, 
Isaac Goldberg, Joseph Janower, Lazar Braudo, Katie Gluck- 
man, Nicolai Kirschner, Bernard Gerling, Simon M. *Kuper, 
Joseph *Herbstein, Leopold *Greenberg, Edel J. Horwitz, and 
Israel A. Maisels. Its most influential officials included Jack Al- 
exander, Zvi Infeld, and Sidney Berg. The Zionist Movement 
acted as a counterforce to weakening religious observance, 
and also unified the widely scattered communities. During 
the 1960s and 1970s, contributions per capita to Zionist funds 
were believed to have been higher in South Africa than else- 
where, even though the country's laws did not allow tax re- 
ductions for such donations. These contributions have been 
significantly reduced in the modern era, partly due to the de- 
cline of the South African currency relative to other curren- 
cies and because of government restrictions. 

The South African Zionist Federation has been held up 
as a model of an all-embracing territorial Zionist organization. 
It takes the lead in, and coordinates, a many- faceted program. 
Its activities range from fundraising, the promotion of aliyah, 
tourism, and other forms of assistance to Israel, to youth work, 
adult education, and the fostering of Jewish culture generally. 
With its national headquarters situated in Johannesburg, it 
has officials in the main provincial centers and also an office 
in Tel Aviv, which carries out many varied functions in Israel 
itself. The strength of the Zionist movement lies particularly 
in its women's and youth sections. Organizations affiliated to 
the Zionist Federation include the Women's Zionist Organiza- 
tion of South Africa, whose fundraising projects are directed 
mainly toward the needs in Israel of women and children and 
land reclamation. The South African Maccabi Association, 
which promotes sport with Israel and is responsible for South 
Africa's participation in the *Maccabi Games. In 2004, there 
were four Zionist youth movements nationally, the largest be- 
ing Bnei Akiva, followed by Habonim-Dror, Betar, and Netzer 
(representing the Reform movement). These conduct cultural 
programs, organize youth activities, and run summer camps. 
University youth have their representative organization - the 
South African Union of Jewish Students (saujs) affiliated to 
both the sajbd and sazf. In addition, many Zionist Societ- 
ies and numerous synagogues are affiliated to the Federation. 
Fundraising is conducted through various channels, mainly 
through the Israel United Appeal campaign. Additional funds 
are raised for the Jewish National Fund, the Magen David 
Adorn, South African Friends of various Israeli universities 
and educational institutions including the Hebrew, Bar-Ilan, 
Ben-Gurion and Haifa universities and the Technion, amongst 
other causes. The executive council of the Zionist Federation, 
elected by a biennial conference, includes representatives of 
the Women Zionists, Youth, Maccabi, and Medical Councils, 
and of other bodies within the Zionist movement. 

South African Zionism has been noteworthy for its prac- 
tical character, and the many projects which it has sponsored 
in Israel, among them the South African Palestine Enterprise 
(Binyan Corporation Ltd.) 1922, which granted mortgage 
loans at low interest rates; the African Palestine Investments, 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



which participated in the Palestine Cold Storage and Supply 
Co.; and the Palestine Shippers Ltd. The South African Jewish 
Appeal promoted an important housing project and the build- 
ing of the garden village in *Ashkelon. The Women's Zionist 
Council erected and maintains the wizo Mothercraft Center. 
The Union of Jewish Women endowed the first dormitory for 
women students at the Hebrew University and is responsible 
for the maintenance of the Parasitology Laboratory. Significant 
endowments made by individuals to the Hebrew University 
include the Bialik Chair of Hebrew, the Ruth Ochberg Chair 
of Agriculture, the Cootcher Museum of Antiquities, the Jof- 
fee Marks wing of the Jewish National and University Library, 
the Silas S. Perry Endowment for Biblical Research, and the 
Percy A. Leon building in the geology complex. 

Comparatively large numbers of South African Jews set- 
tled in Israel. By 1948 they numbered about 200, and by the 
beginning of 2004 the figure was estimated at around 18,000. 
Former South Africans who achieved high distinction in the 
state are Abba Eban, Michael Comay, Louis (Aryeh) Pincus, 
Arthur Lourie, and Jack Geri (who for a time was minister of 
commerce). In periods of crisis many volunteers from South 
Africa spontaneously left for Israel. In the 1948 War of Lib- 
eration, men and women who had served in the South Af- 
rican forces during World War 11 went to the defense of the 
Jewish state. A few thousand volunteered, but only 800 were 
sent and of these, approximately one-quarter remained per- 
manently in the country. A stream of volunteers again left for 
Israel in the 1956 Sinai crisis, at the time of the Six-Day War 
in June 1967, and in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. An increasing 
number of students continued their studies at various seats of 
higher learning in Israel. The Jewish day schools send large 
groups of pupils to Israel for extended courses, and great 
numbers of tourists visit Israel regularly. Increasing contacts 
between South African Jewry and Israel have enriched the 
content of Jewish life and strengthened Jewish consciousness 
in South Africa. 

Political Attitudes and Involvement 

Apart from a few exceptional situations, opportunities to par- 
ticipate in all aspects of civic and political life have been open 
to Jews at all levels - national, provincial and local. An im- 
pressive number of Jews regularly participated in local gov- 
ernment as elected councilors, both in the large cities and in 
the rural villages (until the exodus to the cities). Many were 
elected to the position of mayor (including 22 in Johannes- 
burg and 13 in Cape Town). The provincial councils and Par- 
liament also have always included Jewish representatives, with 
these after 1948 largely belonging to opposition parties. Four 
Jews, Henry *Gluckman, Louis Shill, Joe *Slovo, and Ronnie 
Kasrils have to date attained cabinet rank, while Gill Mar- 
cus, as well as Kasrils, have served terms as deputy ministers. 
In 1999, Tony Leon became the country's first Jewish Leader 
of the Opposition when his party, the Democratic Alliance, 
became the second largest party in Parliament following the 
general election of that year. 

Throughout the 20 th century, relations between the white 
and non-white sections of the population formed the warp 
and woof of party politics in South Africa, and there was like- 
wise no collective Jewish attitude in regard to these. Because 
of the great diversity of opinions among individuals, and 
the complexity of the racial and political tensions within the 
country, the Jewish community found it impossible to advo- 
cate any specific group policy. The majority espoused mod- 
erate policies. Some Jews were among the foremost protago- 
nists of the non-white sections of the population. One of the 
best-known was Helen *Suzman, the sole representative of 
the Progressive Party in the South African Parliament from 
1961 to 1974. Within the ranks of the anti- apartheid liberation 
movements, Jews were likewise disproportionately involved, 
whether as academics, trade unionists, political organizers, 
or within the armed wings of the liberation groups. Many of 
these were jailed, including Denis Goldberg, who was con- 
victed alongside Nelson Mandela and other leading black 
opposition figures at the famous Rivonia Trial in 1964. Many 
more were compelled to go into exile, where they continued 
to be active in anti -apartheid activities in places like London 
and Lusaka in Zambia. Some returned after the unbanning of 
the various liberation movements in 1990 and several of these, 
amongst them Joe Slovo, Ronnie Kasrils, Ben Turok, and Gill 
Marcus, played an important role in the subsequent process 
of transition to multiracial democracy. 

During the apartheid years of white minority rule, the 
activities of individual Jews or of the Jewish community 
as such led to occasional controversy, often revealing the im- 
pact of the political, ideological, and racial tensions in South 
Africa upon attitudes toward Jews. The fact that so high a 
proportion of Jews were engaged in anti-apartheid activities, 
often as members of the banned Communist Party, led to the 
loyalties of the Jewish community as a whole being called 
into question. The mainstream Jewish leadership, represented 
by the sajbd, found it necessary from time to time to empha- 
size that there was no collective Jewish viewpoint in regard 
to the racial policies advocated by the respective political par- 
ties, and that Jewish citizens act in such matters not as mem- 
bers of a group, but as individuals. As opposition to apartheid 
intensified, both locally and internationally, the mainstream 
communal leadership became increasingly torn between its 
traditional mission of safeguarding the Jewish community 
and the need to condemn the injustices of the apartheid pol- 
icy in accordance with Jewish moral values and historical ex- 

By the mid-1980s, the sajbd was speaking out more 
forthrightly against the apartheid policy. At its national con- 
ference of 1985, and again in 1987, the Board explicitly rejected 
apartheid. It also released statements condemning evictions 
of black leaders and pass-law arrests, detention without trial, 
a university quota system for blacks, and the treatment of 
black squatters near Cape Town. The ruling National Party's 
move away from pure apartheid attracted some Jewish sup- 
port although the majority of Jews continued to support the 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


liberal opposition Progressive Federal Party, later transformed 
into the Democratic Party and thereafter the Democratic Al- 
liance. A substantial number of Jews were engaged in social 
action and welfare activities. Jews were prominent in various 
activist organizations including Lawyers for Human Rights, 
the Legal Resources Centre, and the End Conscription Cam- 
paign (which sought changes to laws regarding compulsory 
military service for whites). Two specifically Jewish activist 
organizations were founded in the mid-1980s: Jews for Social 
Justice in Johannesburg and Jews for Justice in Cape Town. 
In 1987 Jews for Social Justice participated in the founding of 
the Five Freedoms Forum, a broad grouping of 25 white orga- 
nizations opposed to apartheid. The sajbd fully endorsed the 
moves away from apartheid by President De Klerk after 1989, 
and devoted much of its efforts during the following decade 
to preparing the Jewish community for the transition to black 
majority rule. In 1992, it threw its weight behind a "yes" vote 
during an all-white referendum on whether or not the reform 
process should be continued. 

The majority of Jews tended to vote for opposition par- 
ties during the 1948-94 period, and in the elections of 1999 
and 2004 overwhelmingly supported the Democratic Alliance. 
Nevertheless the Jewish community collectively - as distinct 
from individual Jewish citizens - has played no part in poli- 
tics (except in exceptional situations, such as during the 1930s, 
where Jews felt that their status as full and equal citizens was 
being threatened). 

Economic Life and Social Structure 

That Jews have played a significant role in the economic de- 
velopment of the country is generally acknowledged. They 
were able to make a distinctive contribution because of the 
specific economic situation prevailing in the country at vari- 
ous periods, which required and gave scope for their particu- 
lar talents and enterprise. 

In the early part of the 19 th century, before the discovery 
of the diamond fields, the economy was largely pastoral and 
agricultural. Economic prospects of the Cape were revived, 
however, by the increased trade and shipping around the 
southern route between Europe and the East. Furthermore, 
the aftermath of the English industrial revolution had en- 
couraged some emigration to South Africa; and included the 
group known as the 1820 Settlers from Britain, which settled 
along the eastern frontier of the Cape (see *Norden family). 
During the 1830s, the interior was further opened up by the 
Boer voortrekkers. The relatively small number of Jewish im- 
migrants from England and Germany brought with them an 
aptitude for and experience in trade and finance, and filled a 
special niche in the economically undeveloped society. They 
were merchants and small traders, with a sprinkling of profes- 
sional men and craftsmen. Through their knowledge of for- 
eign markets they helped to develop the export of such prod- 
ucts as wool, hides, skins, and wine. They also contributed to 
the improvement of the Cape wool and mohair industries, 
the foundation of South Africa's future development as one 

of the worlds producers. The Mosenthals from Germany, in 
particular, left a permanent mark on the economy through 
their initiative and diversity of interests. From bases in Cape 
Town and Port Elizabeth they set up a chain of trading sta- 
tions in the interior of the Cape, usually manned by Jewish 
immigrants whom they had brought out from Germany. They 
helped to stabilize the rural economy by providing long-term 
credits to storekeepers and, through them, to farmers, par- 
ticularly in bad seasons. Before the advent of commercial 
banking, the firms banknotes were widely accepted in the 
development of banking, the financing of diamond and gold 
mining, and the establishment of secondary industries in the 
Cape and Transvaal. The *De Pass brothers, who came from 
Britain in the 1840s, developed shipping, fishing, and coastal 
trading enterprises in the southwestern Cape. They had in- 
terests in the newly discovered diamond fields in South- West 
Africa, then a German possession. Daniel De Pass was one of 
the pioneers of the sugar industry in Natal. The itinerant Jew- 
ish traders and peddlers (locally known as "smouses") trav- 
eled on foot or used animal-drawn transport to penetrate long 
distances, often amidst great hazards and hardships, to scat- 
tered hamlets and the extensive farms. They sold their wares 
and also provided a channel through which the products of 
the land could reach the ports and world markets. Many set- 
tled in the villages and at wayside stations as shopkeepers, so 
that eventually there was hardly a small town without one or 
more Jewish stores. These Jewish middlemen had a recog- 
nized place in the economy of the Cape and subsequently in 
the northerly territories. 

Then came the revolution which transformed South Af- 
rica's economic structure: the discovery of diamonds at Kim- 
berley (1870) and the opening of the Transvaal gold mines 
(1886; see * Johannesburg). The exploitation of mineral wealth 
called for enterprise, technical and managerial initiative, abil- 
ity and great capital resources. There was a demand for com- 
mercial techniques, and the way was opened for the later 
development of secondary industries to supply the new com- 
munities which sprung up. The majority of Afrikaners, still 
largely a rural community, were not ready for the challenges 
of this new economic era, and the lead was taken by the Eng- 
lish-speaking elements and foreigners of various nationalities, 
who flocked to the country. Among them Jews, mainly from 
Western Europe, became leaders of the mining industry (see 
B.I. *Barnato, the * Joels, Lionel ^Phillips, George *Albu and 
David ^Harris). With Cecil John Rhodes, Barnato founded 
De Beers Consolidated Mines which controlled the produc- 
tion and marketing of diamonds (see also ^Diamond Industry 
and Trade). On the discovery of gold the same men, using the 
wealth and skill they had acquired in the diamond fields, took 
the lead in developing the gold mines. In later years, Ernest 
*Oppenheimer and his son Harry were at the head of De Beers 
and established widespread interests in the goldfields of the 
Transvaal and the newer goldfields of the Orange Free State, 
in the production of base minerals and uranium, and in the 
development of manufacturing industries. Many of the early 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Jewish magnates had only flimsy associations with the Jew- 
ish community, and some actually abandoned Judaism. Later, 
other Jewish mining magnates, financiers, and executives also 
became leading figures in the mining industry, though in rela- 
tively small numbers. 

The next major movement forward - a latecomer in 
South Africa - was the development of secondary industry, 
which occurred after World War i and was greatly intensified 
during and after World War n. Jews, many of them from East- 
ern Europe, contributed greatly to this development through 
their pioneering spirit and readiness to take risks. Often start- 
ing from humble beginnings as peddlers, storekeepers, and 
handicraftsmen (tailors, shoemakers, cabinetmakers, brick- 
layers, and so on), they produced some of the most enterpris- 
ing industrialists. Among the pioneers were Samuel *Marks, 
who immigrated to South Africa in the 1860s, and his part- 
ner Isaac Lewis, who, with the help of state concessions estab- 
lished a number of industries in the Pretoria area, from the 
production of dynamite for the mines to a distillery and glass 
works. The steel plant which they established in Vereeniging 
was the forerunner of the South African state- controlled iron 
and steel industry. Assisted by protective tariffs and by war- 
time conditions, industries for manufacturing food, clothing, 
textiles, furniture, leather articles, and others were established 
by Jewish enterprise. Clothing and textile factories, in partic- 
ular, were developed into one of the most important sectors 
of South African industry, and Jews remained leaders in that 
field. In the 1930s, the refugees who arrived from Germany 
also introduced many new industries. The younger generation 
of South African-born Jews later diversified into other spheres 
like electronics, engineering, the chemical industries, and 
large-scale building construction. Jewish town planners, prop- 
erty developers, and builders were largely responsible for the 
modernization of Johannesburg and other cities to meet the 
needs of an increasingly urbanized population. Entrepreneurs, 
notably I.W. *Schlesinger, were among the leading figures in 
the tertiary industries (insurance, mass entertainment, hotel 
keeping, catering, and advertising). Jews were among the first 
in South Africa to introduce modern distribution techniques 
in the retail trade, such as the department store, the super- 
market and the discount house. The largest chain stores were 
founded by Jews, most of whom started from small begin- 
nings. Although few Jews took up agriculture, Jewish farmers, 
especially in the maize industry, fruit growing, dairy farming 
and viticulture, set examples of successful scientific farming. 
Schlesinger s citrus undertaking in the Transvaal became one 
of the largest of its kind in the world. Ostrich farming and 
marketing, until the decline of the industry after 1914, was de- 
veloped by Jews in the Oudtshoorn area of the Cape, notable 
among them being the Rose brothers, Max and Albert. 

The South African-born generation of Jews turned in in- 
creasing numbers to the professions, to medicine, law, phar- 
macy, and later to accountancy, engineering, architecture, and 
pure and applied science, often achieving positions of emi- 
nence. A high proportion of young people regularly study at 

the universities. There have been distinguished Jewish lawyers 
in the past, Simeon Jacobs, Manfred *Nathan, Leopold Green- 
berg, Philip *Millin, J. Herbstein, H.M. Bloch, Percy Yutar, 
Simon Kuper, Cecil Margo, Isie Maisels, Richard Goldstone, 
Sydney Kentridge, Albie Sachs, and Arthur Chaskalson, many 
of these going on to serve with distinction on the bench. In 
2001, Arthur Chaskalson was appointed chief justice. Many 
Jews have distinguished themselves in medicine, medical re- 
search, and the development of health and hospital services. 

Jews in the Armed Forces 

Jewish service as volunteers in the armed forces of the nation 
dates back to the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902, when Jews 
fought on both sides. Jewish participation in army service has 
been in greater numbers, proportionally, than the rest of the 
white population. Thus in World War 1, there were some 3,000 
Jewish volunteers representing about 6% of the entire Jewish 
population of that time. In World War 11 over 10,000, above 
10% of the Jewish population, were listed in the records kept 
by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies of Jews serving 
in the Union Defense Forces and with other Allied forces. Of 
these 357 were killed, 327 were wounded or injured, 143 were 
mentioned in dispatches, and 94 received various awards for 
distinguished service. Compulsory military conscription for 
white males was introduced in the early 1970s, which began 
at six months and eventually was extended to two years plus 
two further years of military camps. Shortly thereafter, in 
1976, South Africa became embroiled in a war against South 
West African liberation fighters and Cuban forces on the An- 
gola-South West Africa border. The war continued until 1989, 
when South West Africa, now called Namibia, gained its inde- 
pendence from South Africa. A number of Jewish conscripts, 
perhaps a dozen in all, were amongst those who lost their 
lives in the conflict. 

During the years of compulsory military conscription, 
chaplaincy services to Jewish men in the armed forces were 
provided by a Chaplaincy Committee, composed of repre- 
sentatives of the Board of Deputies, the Federation of Syna- 
gogues (later the uos), the Union of Progressive Judaism, the 
Jewish Ex- Servicemen's organization, the Union of Jewish 
Women, and the Rabbinical Association. The chaplains were 
usually ministers or rabbis serving communities in the areas 
where military camps were located. Most of the administra- 
tive work of the Chaplaincy Committee was carried out by the 
Board of Deputies. There were 30 Jewish chaplains serving in 
the field in World War 11. Chaplaincy services were discon- 
tinued in 1994. 

Cultural Life 

Jews have participated actively in all aspects of the cultural and 
artistic life of the country. Their work is recognized as part of 
South African culture. That they are Jews may not be irrelevant 
to their work, but does not determine the nature of their con- 
tributions. In the literary field, they have produced an impos- 
ing list of writers and artists, some of the first rank, including 
South Africa's foremost novelist, Sarah Gertrude *Millin. Also 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


from South Africa are the Jewish novelists Dan * Jacobson and 
Nadine * Gordimer. Since for the most part Jews have been liv- 
ing in the cities where English is the dominant language, it is 
not surprising that they have had a greater share in English 
culture than in Afrikaans, although several have made wor- 
thy contributions to Afrikaans literature and more and more 
Jews are becoming fluent in both Afrikaans and English (see 
*South African Literature). One of the founders of the Rand 
Daily Mail and both founders of the Mail & Guardian were 
Jews, and Jews figure prominently in journalism. As patrons 
of art, music, and literature, they have provided stimulus in 
many aspects of the cultural life of the country, notably, per- 
haps, in musical and dramatic enterprise. Jewish painters in- 
clude Irma *Stern and John Henry *Amshewitz, and among 
sculptors of notable standing is Moses *Kottler. South Afri- 
can playwrights, composers, musicians, producers, and actors 
have contributed largely to the cultural scene. While Yiddish 
was still in vogue among substantial numbers of the commu- 
nity, several South African writers made worthy literary con- 
tributions in that medium. There has also been literary cre- 
ativity in Hebrew. 

Relations with Israel 

South Africa's official relations with Israel were founded, sig- 
nificantly, in a month decisive for the destinies of both people, 
May 1948. Chaim Weizmann, describing May 15, the day after 
the establishment of the State of Israel, wrote: "I bethought 
myself of one surviving author of the Balfour Declaration 
and addressed a cable to General Smuts. This was closely fol- 
lowed by South African recognition (of Israel)" (Trial and Er- 
ror, p. 585). In the same month, however, Smuts and his United 
Party were defeated in the South African elections and suc- 
ceeded by Malan's Nationalist Party. Smuts had had a long- 
standing familiarity with Zionism, whereas the new govern- 
ment was less involved with the story of Zionism and the cause 
of Jewish statehood. The Smuts administration had steadfastly 
supported the Zionist cause in international forums and was 
among the governments which had voted in the United Na- 
tions for the partition of Palestine on Nov. 29, 1947. Under the 
Nationalists, South Africa continued to support Israel, voted 
for its admission to the United Nations in 1949, and backed 
it on a number of subsequent issues in that forum. South Af- 
rica's recognition of Israel was followed by the establishment 
of an Israel consulate -general in Johannesburg and an Israel 
legation in Pretoria. Out of consideration for its economic 
interests and ties with the Arab States, however, South Africa 
was for long reluctant to establish any diplomatic mission in 
Israel. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Malan made a personal 
visit to Israel in 1952. 

During the 1960s, attitudes to Israel underwent a change, 
because of the statements and votes by Israel representatives at 
the United Nations, which were critical of South Africa's racial 
policies. The reactions at times caused considerable tension 
between the South African government and the Jewish com- 
munity. When the Israel- Arab war broke out in 1967, however, 

public sympathy was strongly on Israel's side. Following the 
1973 Yom Kippur War, ties between Israel and South Africa, 
particularly in the military sphere, were steadily strengthened, 
a factor that contributed significantly to anti-Israel sentiment 
within the majority black population. 

The establishment of these links between Israel and South 
Africa brought increasing and severe international criticism. 
Chaim Herzog, then Israel ambassador at the un, revealed 
the hypocrisy of these allegations by his disclosure of details 
concerning large-scale secret trade between Arab, Asian and 
African nations and South Africa. On numerous occasions it 
was made plain by Israel that it had reservations about South 
African internal policies, but that it believed that it was essen- 
tial to continue to foster cooperation between the countries 
despite differences of opinion on internal policies. 

South Africa consolidated warm relations with Israel 
through the 1980s. However, as Western pressure against 
South Africa intensified, Israel was forced into reassessing 
this relationship. The United States threatened to cut military 
assistance to countries engaged in military trade with South 
Africa. In 1987 Israel agreed "to refrain from new undertak- 
ings between Israel and South Africa in the realm of defense." 
In line with its general opposition to sanctions as a policy, the 
South African Jewish leadership urged Israel not to take that 
step. Notwithstanding Israeli policy, the South African gov- 
ernment continued to accept "approved enterprise to certain 
categories of investment" in Israel, among them residential 
housing, subject to certain conditions. 

During the 1980s, left-wing and Islamist groups, such as 
the p ac, the Azanian Peoples' Organization (azapo), Call of 
Islam, and Qibla (a Muslim fundamentalist movement) pur- 
sued a vigorous anti-Zionist line. Their support was built upon 
black disappointment at close ties between South Africa and 
Israel and suspected military cooperation. Anti-Zionist sen- 
timent was already evident at the time of the Lebanon War 
(1982) and consolidated during the first intifada. In particular 
the Muslim population of over 500,000 pursued a vigorous 
stance against Israel. This was very evident during the First 
Gulf War, intensifying during the years of the Oslo peace pro- 
cess and reaching unprecedented heights following the out- 
break of the second intifada in September 2000. Notwith- 
standing sympathy for the Palestinian people, black leaders 
made a clear distinction between anti-Zionism and antisemi- 
tism. Nonetheless, there were indications of substantial "so- 
cial distance" between blacks and Jews, including anti- Jewish 
attitudes among blacks. 

The advent of black majority rule in 1994, which resulted 
in an overwhelming victory for the strongly pro- Palestinian 
African National Congress (anc), saw a radical change in 
the government's attitude towards Israel. The relationship re- 
mained reasonably cordial during the years of the Oslo peace 
process but deteriorated sharply with the outbreak of the sec- 
ond intifada. While often critical of Israeli policy, however, the 
anc (which was returned to office with increased majorities 
in the elections of 1999 and 2004) remains committed to di- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



alogue and strengthening already strong trade ties between 
the two countries. 

bibliography: L. Feldman, Yidn in Johannesburg (1956); 
Jewish Affairs, 15 (i960); Zionist Record (March 21, 1961); idem, Jew- 
ish Affairs, vol. 15 no. 5 (May, i960), M. Shain, The Roots of Anti-Semi- 
tism in South Africa (1994); S.E. Aschheim, in: jjs 12, 2 (Dec. 1970), 
201-31. add. bibliography: I. Suttner (ed.), Cutting Through the 
Mountain - Interviews With South African Jewish Activists (1997); G. 
Shimoni, Jews and Zionism: The South African Experience, 1910-196/ 
(1980); G. Shimoni, Community and Conscience: The Jews in Apartheid 
South Africa (2003); M. Shain and R. Mendelsohn (eds.), Memories, 
Realities and Dreams - Aspects of the South African Jewish Experience 
(2002); Jewish Affairs, Vol. 58, No. 3 (Rosh Hashana 2003) (South 
African Jewish Board of Deputies centenary issue); M. Kaplan and 
M. Robertson (eds.), Founders and Followers - Johannesburg Jewry, 
1887-1915 (1991); M. Arkin (ed.), South African Jewry - A Contem- 
porary Survey (1984); M. Kaplan, Jewish Roots in the South African 
Economy (1986); Jewish Affairs 60 th anniversary issue, Vol. 57, No. 3 
(Rosh Hashana 2002). 

[Gustav Saron and Milton Shain / David Saks (2 nd ed.)] 


Biblical Influences 

The Afrikaans -speaking people of South Africa are mainly 
descended from Dutch Calvinist and French Huguenot im- 
migrants of the 17 th century. The Bible has been an important 
factor in their life and thinking. The Afrikaans language (a 
variant of Dutch) took shape in the late 19 th century, and bib- 
lical influences were reflected in it and in the early literature. 
Scriptural themes were common in the Afrikaans novel, and 
some Afrikaans verse was influenced in its subject matter and 
style, notably by Psalms and Ecclesiastes. 

In South African English literature, with its natural af- 
finities to the literature of England, biblical influences were 
less pronounced. They were to be seen chiefly in style and 
language in the works of the non-Jewish Olive Schreiner 
(1855-1920), Pauline Smith (1884-1959), and Alan Paton 
(1903-1988), and the Jewish writer Sarah Gertrude *Mil- 
lin (1889-1968). Dan *Jacobson (b. 1929) wrote The Rape of 
Tamar (1970), which is an imaginative reworking of a bibli- 
cal subject. 

The Figure of the Jew 

While the Hebrews of the Bible were esteemed by the Afri- 
kaners, the Jews of modern times were generally less favor- 
ably dealt with by Afrikaans writers, who tended to portray a 
traditional stereotype of the "bad Jew," shrewd, grasping, and 
ruthless in his dealings with the simple Afrikaner. However, 
there were some instances of the "good Jew" as well. Jewish 
characters were frequently represented as speaking a heav- 
ily accented Afrikaans. D.F. Malherbe, Jochem van Bruggen, 
CM. Van den Heever, and Abraham Jonker, who focus on 
the changeover that took place in the 1920s and 1930s from 
an agricultural to a capitalist mode of production, create Jew- 
ish characters with a mixture of grudging admiration and 
condemnation. J. van Melle and C.J. Langenhoven's charac- 
terizations are more sympathetic. Abraham Jonker s non-fic- 

tional Israel die Sondebok (1940) (translated as The Scapegoat 
of History, 1941), vigorously condemned antisemitism. Etienne 
Leroux (1922-1989) wrote several novels. In Sewe Dae by die 
Silbersteins (Seven Days at the Silbersteins, 1962) Jewish char- 
acters are more fully developed. Een vir Azazel (1964) contains 
biblical motifs. Onse Hymie (1982) deals sympathetically with 
a smous (itinerant peddler). Generally, in later Afrikaans lit- 
erature, Jews seldom appear. 

After the advent of the State of Israel, a number of de- 
scriptive and historical accounts of the Holy Land by Afri- 
kaans writers usually exhibited a sympathetic approach. B. 
Gemser, who in 1937 had published a collection of Afrikaans 
translations of Hebrew short stories, issued a Hebrew- Afri- 
kaans grammar in 1953. 

In South Africa's English -language literature, in the work 
of non- Jewish writers, both white and black, Jewish charac- 
ters invariably appear in three distinct stereotypes, of which 
the unscrupulous Jewish shopkeeper or businessman is the 
most common. The wandering Jew appears as the itinerant 
peddler, a typical occupation for newly arrived Jews from the 
end of the 19 th century. A philo- Semitic approach is rarer. Alan 
Paton's Too Late the Phalarope (1953) and the work of the col- 
ored (mixed-race) Peter Abrahams, are examples of portrayals 
of sympathetic Jews. Some writers were viciously antisemitic. 
A. A. Murray's Anybody's Spring, (1959) is a striking example. 
In later English fiction Jews often appear as leftists, involved 
in the struggle of the black people for freedom, a perception 
which reflects the prominent presence of Jews in the struggle 
for a democracy. 

The Jewish Contribution 

Jews did not reach South Africa in significant numbers until 
the second half of the 19 th century. Most settled in towns, and 
Jewish writers mainly used Yiddish and, increasingly, English. 
The Jewish contribution to the emergent Afrikaans literature 
came later and was smaller, though not negligible. 

Writers in English 

fiction. Among the major figures in South African English 
fiction a number are Jewish. However, not all identify as being 
Jewish, nor does their writing always reflect Jewish themes. 
Except for some specifically Jewish social, political, and com- 
munal concerns, Jewish writers, following the general trend, 
concern themselves with general South African topics, not 
least with the issue of race and color, understandably so for 
a people with a history of persecution. The family saga, par- 
ticularly immigration from eastern Europe and, more latterly, 
emigration from South Africa, is another recurrent theme. 
However, there is no "Jewish" school, and it is noteworthy 
that some Jewish writers display evidence of Jewish self- re- 
jection. Overall, the Jewish contribution to South African lit- 
erature has been contemporary in setting, realistic in mode, 
and liberal in political outlook. Jewish characters occur more 
frequently in the fiction of Jewish writers than in that of gen- 
tiles, where the Jew more often than not appears in a minor, 
and stereotyped, role. Perhaps because of concern with the 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


overshadowing white- black racism, antisemitism is a theme 
that seldom becomes a central issue. 

Louis Cohen, a half- Jewish immigrant from England, was 
a journalist in Kimberley during the 1870s and wrote scurri- 
lous sketches concerning Jews. Sarah Gertrude Millin, one of 
the most prolific of South African writers, published 18 novels. 
For many years she was the outstanding personality in South 
African creative writing and her works were translated into 
many languages. Her novel Gods Stepchildren (1924) was the 
first major South African work of fiction to deal with misce- 
genation and the plight of the colored people. The Coming of 
the Lord (1928) deals with the problems of minority groups, 
including the Jews. In later years her writings tended to reflect 
more conventional South African views on color. 

Nadine *Gordimer s work and Dan Jacobson's early writ- 
ing revealed an intense awareness of the currents of social and 
race conflict in South Africa. Gordimer s international stand- 
ing culminated in the award of the Nobel Prize for literature 
in 1991. Her 13 novels and many books of short stories are 
among the finest of South African writing. Apart from in her 
early work, references to Jews are few, and some, such as in A 
Sport of Nature (1987), are depicted in stereotypical fashion. 
Dan Jacobson, who immigrated to London, wrote an impor- 
tant novel, The Beginners (1966), portraying on a broad can- 
vas the fortunes of a Jewish immigrant family, their adjust- 
ment to South African conditions, and emigration. The Price 
of Diamonds (1957) and several masterly short stories, includ- 
ing "The Zulu and the Zeide" (1958), satirize Jewish assump- 
tions about race and morality and interrogate the Jewish ste- 
reotypes. His non-fictional writing includes HesheVs Kingdom 
(1999 )> which deals with a retrieval of Lithuanian roots. 

The works of Arthur Markowitz {Facing North, 1949; 
Market Street, 1959) and Arthur Segal (Johannesburg Friday, 
1954) also treat Jewish South African life, as do the sketches in 
Millionaires and Tatterdemalions (1952) by Victor Barwin. 

Lewis Sowden in The Crooked Bluegum (1955) and Ger- 
ald Gordon (1909-1998) in Let the Day Perish (1952) deal 
with social and racial themes. Harry Blooms Episode (1956) 
is considered a classic on the subject. A pioneer in a related 
field was Herzl J. Schlosberg who, under the pen name Henry 
John May, was co-author with J. Grenfell Williams of I Am 
Black (1936), the first South African novel to view life from 
the black Africans standpoint. Wolfe Miller published Man 
in the Background (1958). 

Lionel Abrahams (1928-2004), who wrote The Celibacy 
of Felix Greenspan (1977) and The White Life of Felix Greens- 
pan (2002), was one of South Africa's most eminent writers, 
editors, teachers, and critics, having worked with distinction 
in almost all genres. His great contribution to South African 
letters was recognized by the award of two honorary doctor- 
ates. Among lesser-known figures the following authors are 
those who have published at least one novel or novella. Only 
one reference is given in each case. Ronald Segal (The Toko- 
losh), Rhona Stern (Cactus Land), Phyllis Altman (The Law 
of the Vultures), Bertha Goudvis (Little Eden), Maurice Flior 

(Heralds of the East Wind), Myrna Blumberg (White Madam), 
Sylvester Stein (Second Class Taxi), Olga Levinson (Call Me 
Master), Rose Moss (The Family Reunion), Rose Zwi (Another 
Year in Africa), Shirley Eskapa (The Secret Keeper), Dennis 
Hirson (The House Next Door to Africa), Lynne Freed (Home 
Ground), Eddie Lurie (The Beginning Is Endless), Gillian Slovo 
(Ties of Blood), Maja Kriel (Rings in a Tree), David Cohen (Peo- 
ple Who Have Stolen from Me), Tony Eprile (The Persistence of 
Memory), Patricia Schonstein (The Alchemist), Mona Berman 
(Email from a Jewish Mother), Johnny Steinberg (Midlands), 
Diane Awerbuck (Gardening at Night), and Ken Barris (Sum- 
mer Grammar). The renowned actor Antony Sher, who moved 
to England, imaginatively and even grotesquely dealt with the 
subject of immigration in Middlepost (1988). 

Collections of short stories have come from Bertha 
Goudvis, Barney Simon (Jo'burg Sis!), David Medalie (The 
Killing of the Christmas Cows), Maureen Isaacson, Shirley 
Eskapa, Maja Kriel, Sandra Braude, Marc Glaser, and Ken 
Barris. Lilian Simon, Pnina Fenster, and Marcia Leveson are 
among the numerous others whose stories have appeared in 
South African literary journals. Humorous fiction was writ- 
ten by, among others, D. Dainow, M. Davidson, S. Levin, and 
Barbara Ludman. 

poetry. Jews have made substantial contributions to South 
African poetry. Phillip Stein published Awakening (1946) and 
Victor Barwin's Europa and Other Poems appeared in 1947. 
Lewis Sowden published three volumes of verse, notably Po- 
ems from the Bible (i960), and Florence Louie Friedman pro- 
duced original verse and translations from the French and 

Among the most important voices in South African Eng- 
lish poetry were those of Sydney Clouts (1926-1982) (One Life) 
and Ruth Miller (1919-1969) (The Floating Island). Jewish as- 
pects were not reflected in their poetry. These do appear, how- 
ever, in the work of many of South Africa's other Jewish poets. 
Jacob Stern's Proverbs is one such volume. Lionel Abrahams 
published several volumes of poetry on philosophical and 
political issues, love, and his home city, Johannesburg. Helen 
Segal (Footprint of a Fish) wrestles with moral, aesthetic, and 
religious issues. Bernard Levinson in From Breakfast to Mad- 
ness and elsewhere draws on his experience as a psychiatrist. 
Sinclair Beiles (Ashes of Experience) and Roy Joseph Cotton 
(Ag Man) employ surrealism. Riva Rubin (The Poet-Killers) 
writes among other things on biblical themes, and her expe- 
riences of Israel where she settled in 1963. Chaim Lewis, an 
Anglo- Jewish author, wrote poetry on South African and Jew- 
ish themes during his long stay in the country. Experience of 
Israel is also apparent in the work of Jeremy Gordin (With My 
Tongue in My Hand). Among the many others whose work has 
appeared in their own anthologies or in journals are Robert 
Berold (The Door to the River), David Friedland (After Image), 
Lola Watter (Images from Africa), Edgar Bernstein, Elias Pa- 
ter (Jacob Friedman), Jean Lip kin, Elaine Unterhalter, Man- 
nie Hirsch, Dennis Diamond, Dennis Hirson, Allan Kolski 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Horwitz, Rose Friedman, Sheila Basden, Sandra Braude, Roy 
Blumenthal, Debra Aarons, Marc Glaser, Peter and Mike Kan- 
tey, Karen Press, Keith Gottshalk, Steve Shapiro, Terry Suss- 
man, Adam Schwartzman, Barry Feinberg, Ken Barris, Gail 
Dendy, Cyril Edelstein, Jessie Prisman, and Freda Freeman. 
Gloria Sandak-Lewin's poetry contains many Jewish themes. 
Israel Ben Yosef, in collaboration with Douglas Reid Skinner, 
published Approximations (1989), translations into English of 
contemporary Hebrew poetry. 

drama. The Jewish contribution to the performing arts has 
been highly significant in South Africa. The Verdict (1911), 
written by T.J. Holzberg in collaboration with I.K. Sampson 
(a non-Jew), was probably the first South African play by a 
Jew. One of Lewis Sowdens plays, The Kimberley Train (1958), 
brought the color question onto the South African stage, and 
ran for more than 100 performances. Bertha Goudvis wrote 
several plays on Jewish themes, A Husband for Rachel (1926) 
being the best known. Sarah Gertrude Millin's novel Mary 
Glenn (1925) was dramatized and staged abroad, as were two 
adaptations of works by Dan Jacobson, notably his short story 
"The Zulu and the Zeide," which was staged as a musical on 
Broadway. The first internationally successful South African 
musical, King Kong, which premiered in Johannesburg in 1959, 
was, except for the music, a largely Jewish production with Af- 
rican actors, with the book by Harry Bloom, orchestration by 
Stanley Glasser, set design by Arthur Goldreich, and direction 
by Leon Gluckman (all of whom subsequently emigrated). 

Internationally acclaimed Leonard *Schach was involved 
in every stage of the development of theater in South Africa 
between 1925 and 1994. He was the inspiration behind Cape 
Town's Cockpit Theater, and until his death, divided his time 
as a director between South Africa and Israel. He published 
his memoirs in 1996. Other influential directors in the post- 
war years were Celia Sonnenberg and Rene Ahrenson, who 
founded "Shakespeare in the Park" at Maynardville in Cape 
Town and, later, the "Company of Four." Leon Gluckman, one 
of the country's most creative directors, was particularly in- 
terested in fostering black theater. Moira Fine, a major sup- 
porter of the Space Theater in Cape Town, also ran Volute 
Productions. For a lengthy period the doyenne of South Af- 
rican theater actor-directors and managers was Taubie Kush- 
lick. The Johannesburg Children's Theater was the work of 
Joyce Levinsohn. A co-founder and artistic director of the 
famous Market Theater, the home of political protest theater 
in South Africa, was Barney Simon, who was a leading di- 
rector and facilitator- playwright, stimulating his actors into 
creative improvisations. One of the most successful of these 
was the internationally acclaimed Woza, Albert! A significant 
book, tracing the first decade of the existence of this theater, 
was written by the Johannesburg journalist Pat Schwartz 
in 1988. The Junction Avenue Theater Company, under the 
leadership of Malcolm Purkey, applied workshop methods to 
create The Fantastical History of a Useless Man and other im- 
portant plays, including Sophiatown, a recreation of a black 

township destroyed by government edict. Purkey became 
artistic director of the Market Theater. Among other Jew- 
ish playwrights whose work has been staged in South Africa 
are Bernard Sachs, Geraldine Aron, Sinclair Beiles, Michael 
Picardie, David Peemer, Gary Friedman, and Henry Root- 
enberg. Shawn Slovo produced a film, A World Apart, based 
on the experiences in political detention of her mother, Ruth 
First. William Kentridge, renowned artist, collaborated with 
the Handspring Theater Company to produce such innova- 
tive works as Faustus in Africa! which had worldwide success. 
In the field of satire and social commentary, Adam Leslie was 
for many years a household name, as are the half- Jewish and 
half- Afrikaans Pieter-Dirk Uys and David Kramer. 

For over 50 years, one of South Africa's most influen- 
tial theater and film critics was Percy Baneshik. Percy Tucker 
wrote his memoirs as the creator of a theater-booking agency. 
Among promoters of the arts in general in South Africa is 
Phillip Stein, who was director of the Vita Awards made an- 
nually for distinguished work in the performing, literary and 
visual arts. 

autobiography, biography and memoirs. Jewish 
writers have been greatly concerned with the recreation of 
the past - the general South African past, their own life-sto- 
ries, and the history of immigrant families. In this field Sarah 
Gertrude Millin was prominent. She wrote the lives of Rhodes 
(1933), General Smuts (1936), and two autobiographical vol- 
umes, The Night is Long (1941) and The Measure of My Days 
(1955). Nathan Levi, a Dutch- Jewish journalist in Pretoria, pro- 
duced the first biography of General Smuts in English (1917). 
The memoirs of Lionel Phillips, Randlord, first appeared in 
1924. Henry Raymond, Richard Lewinsohn and S. Joel each 
chose Barney *Barnato as a subject (1897, 1937 and 1958), and 
Felix Gross wrote Rhodes of Africa (1956). Manfred *Nathan 
wrote a standard biography of the Boer leader, Paul Kruger 
(1941). The memoirs of Sir David ^Harris, South African pio- 
neer, soldier, and politician, appeared in 1930. The explorer 
Nathaniel ^Isaacs was also a literary pioneer with his Trav- 
els and Adventures in Eastern Africa... with a Sketch of Na- 
tal (1836; reissued 1935-36). Sir Harry Graumann published 
a review of the gold industry in 1936. Enid Alexander wrote 
the life of her husband, Morris ^Alexander (1953), and Mor- 
ris Kentridge's published reminiscences of his public career. 
The historian, Phyllis Lewsen, produced an authoritative edi- 
tion of the letters of the South African statesman John Xavier 
Merriman (4 vols. 1960-69). Her own memoir is titled Re- 
verberations (1996). Bernard Friedman wrote a biography of 
J.C. Smuts. Bertha ^Solomon's memoirs, Time Remembered, 
appeared in 1968. Martin Rubin wrote on Sarah Gertrude 
Millin. The mercantile Mosenthal family was researched by 
D. Fleischer and A. Caccia. Isie Maisels, a leading advocate in 
human rights cases, wrote his memoirs. Eric Rosenthal recap- 
tures the spirit of South Africa in the 20 th century. Lola Wat- 
ter evokes the literary and artistic life, particularly of Johan- 
nesburg. In Strange Odyssey (1952) Betty Misheiker wrote of 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


an immigrant group, and Geoff Sifrin's To Gershn (1995) is a 
recreation of his widely spread family from their days in east- 
ern Europe. Richard Mendelsohn wrote on Sammy Marks: The 
Uncrowned King of the Transvaal (1991). Phyllis Jowell docu- 
mented the life of her father-in-law, a key figure in Namaqua- 
land, in Joe Jowell of Nam aqu aland (1994) and, with Adrienne 
Folb a pictorial history of the Jews of Namaqualand. In 2000 
Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris recorded highlights of his ministry 
Others in the autobiographical field include Lyndall Gordon, 
eminent scholar and biographer who immigrated to England 
and wrote a memoir of life in Cape Town during the 1950s ti- 
tled Shared Lives (1992). Helen *Suzman, long-time sole rep- 
resentative in parliament of the Progressive Party under the 
Apartheid government, wrote memoirs, as did Jack Penn, Ali 
Bacher, David Susman, Pauline Podbrey, Hilda Bernstein, 
Harold and AnnMarie Wolpe, Ben Turok, Benjamin Pogrund, 
Norma Kitson, Ronald Segal, Lionel (Rusty) Bernstein, Baruch 
Hirson, Joel Joffe, Rudy Frankel, Ronnie Kasrils, and Alfred 
Honikman, former mayor of Cape Town. Benjamin Pogrund 
also wrote on activist Robert Sobukwe and Paul Clingman on 
the Hon. A.E. Abrahamson. Ruth First and Albie Sachs wrote 
of their experiences in an apartheid prison. Joe *Slovo, the 
renowned South African communist, recorded his life; and 
Mendel Kaplan, industrialist, former chairperson of the Board 
of Governors of the Jewish Agency, and later chairman of the 
World Jewish Congress produced several books chronicling 
Jewish immigration and the Jewish contribution to the eco- 
nomic development of the country. Julian Roup, in Boerejood 
(2004), contributed a different slant with the point of view of 
the sometimes intermarried community of Afrikaner- Jews. 

Included in the memoirs of survivors of the Holocaust 
are those of Levi Shalit, Beyond Dachau (1980), Henia Brazg, 
Passport to Life (1981), Maja Abramowitch's To Forgive... But 
Not Forget (2002), and Madeleine Heitner s Breaking through 
Buttonholes (2004). Gwynne Schrire edited a selection of 
the memories of Cape Town Holocaust survivors, In Sacred 
Memory (1995). 

other fields. In belles lettres, Jewish writers included 
Joseph Sachs (Beauty and the Jews, 1937; The Jewish Genius, 
1939); Wulf Sachs (Black Hamlet, 1937; later published as Black 
Anger); George Sacks (The Intelligent Mans Guide to Jew-bait- 
ing, 1935); and Adele Lezard (Gold Blast, 1936). Bernard Sachs 
wrote a miscellaneous collection of essays on Personalities and 
Places (2 vols., 1959-65). Contributions to literary criticism 
were also made by Edward Davis, Phillip Segal, and many 
others not collected in volume form. 

non-fiction. Non-fictional literary prose of a very high or- 
der, in the form of scholarly, journalistic, historiographical, bi- 
ographical, and polemical works, has been produced by many 
distinguished Jewish South Africans. Not only have books and 
studies appeared, but there have been innumerable contribu- 
tions to newspapers and journals and important editorships, 
not only in the Jewish field but also in the general world of 
scholarship and letters. For Jewish scholarship and historiog- 

raphy, the influential Jewish Affairs (started in 1941 under the 
editorship of Edgar Bernstein, and for 16 years under the edi- 
torship of Amelia Levy, once secretary of the Society of Jews 
and Christians) is crucial. The Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Cen- 
ter for Jewish Studies and Research at the University of Cape 
Town currently produces outstanding work in this field. 

Sidney Mendelssohn compiled a monumental South Af- 
rican Bibliography (1910) and wrote Jewish Pioneers of South 
Africa (1912). Bernard Sachs published several volumes of au- 
tobiographical, political, and other essays, as well as a study of 
H.C. Bosman, writer of Afrikaans extraction connected with 
the South African Jewish community in the 1930s and 1940s. 
He has been the subject of a biography by Valerie Rosenberg, 
Sunflower to the Sun. Rosenberg and Lionel Abrahams edited 
several volumes of his writing, which, until recent scholarly 
updating, have been authoritative. Edgar Bernstein published 
a collection of essays titled My Judaism, My Jews, while Neil 
Hirschson has published some polemical work on Jew-ha- 
tred and Shakespeare. Michael Wade and Steven Clingman 
published major studies of the novels of Nadine Gordimer. 
The Cape Town Intellectuals - Ruth Schechter and her Circle, 
1907-1934 (2001) was written by Baruch Hirson, a political 
activist who immigrated to England. Reuben Musiker has 
published six books and 150 articles in the field of South Af- 
rican bibliography. Among the many Jewish scholars directly 
engaged in academic work on South African Jewish histori- 
ography and writing are Louis Herrman, who wrote A His- 
tory of the Jews in South Africa from the Earliest Times to 1895 
(1935), and Gustav Saron and Louis Hotz, who were the editors 
of the influential The Jews in South Africa: A History (1955). 
Marcus Arkin edited South African Jewry: A Contemporary 
Survey in 1984. Among several other surveys of the South Af- 
rican Jewish community are those of L. Feldberg, N. Berger, 
N.D. Hoffman, D.L. Sowden, M. Konvisser, T. Hoffman, and 
A. Fischer. Marcia Gitlin's The Vision Amazing (1950) and the 
work of the prominent scholar now living in Israel, Gideon 
Shimoni (Jews and Zionism, 1980), analyze the strong bonds 
between the South African community and Israel. R. Musiker 
and J. Sherman edited Waters out of the Well, a collection of 
articles and essays on Jewish themes. Memories, Realities and 
Dreams, with international as well as local contributions, ed- 
ited by Milton Shain and Richard Mendelsohn, is an impor- 
tant documentation of more recent thinking responses to and 
construction of a new identity in the light of political change 
in South Africa. In recent years a team of volunteers working 
for the South African Friends of Beth Hatefutsoth has been 
producing handsome illustrated books as part of its ongoing 
record of the dwindling Jewish country communities. Joseph 
Sherman made available in translation much of the neglected 
Yiddish writing from South African authors in From a Land 
Far O/f (1987). Milton Shain produced a great deal of ongoing 
research on the South African Jewish community and a semi- 
nal work, The Roots of Anti-semitism in South Africa (1994). 
Jocelyn Hellig, who wrote The Holocaust and AntiSemitism 
(2003), lectured and published on issues such as antisemitism 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



and comparative religion. Marcia Leveson published on the 
image of the Jew, including People of the Book: The Image of 
the Jew in South African Fiction 1880-1992 (1996). Immanuel 
Suttner s collection of interviews with South African Jewish 
activists, Cutting through the Mountain (1997), is an important 
repository of research material. A.A. Dubb, Shirley Kossick, 
John Simon, Gwynne Schrire, David Saks, Franz Auerbach, 
Rose Norwich, and a host of other scholars published origi- 
nal research into the many facets of the wide Jewish contri- 
bution to the development of South Africa. Claudia Braude 
published a collection of contemporary Jewish writing in 
2001. Veronica Belling compiled a Bibliography of South Af- 
rican Jewry (1997). 

In other fields, Martin Orkin published Shakespeare 
against Apartheid (1987) and Clive Chipkin Johannesburg 
Style (1993). Esme Berman, Steven Sack, Neville Dubow, and 
Mona Berman made significant contributions in the field of 
art and art history. Mona de Beer wrote on an aspect of Cape 
urban history, Joel Mervis on South African newspapers, El- 
lison Kahn on law, Rod Suskin and Alexandra Levin on eso- 
teric matters, and Raymond Ackerman on his life and busi- 
ness. Arnold Benjamin was a long- serving journalist on The 
Star and produced a book on graffiti. Elaine Katz wrote on 
trade unions and disease in the South African gold mines. 
Adam Levin wrote on travel in Africa, and Matthew Krouse, 
assisted by Kim Berman, co-edited a book on gay and lesbian 
writing. Shirli Gilbert wrote on South African music and mu- 
sic in the Holocaust. Numerous handsome cookbooks have 
been published by Jewish writers, and Geraldine Mitton and 
Linda Friedland publish on health issues. The Jewish Report 
has since 1998 been a popular national Jewish weekly news- 
paper, and several well-known Jewish journalists are active 
in the media world. 

Writers in Afrikaans 

A significant contribution to Afrikaans literature was made 
in the early 19 th century by a Dutch Jewish convert to Chris- 
tianity, Joseph Suasso de Lima (1791-1858). In 1844 he wrote 
the first booklet of its kind on the subject, in which he cham- 
pioned the developing Afrikaans language. He also wrote (in 
Dutch) the first history of the Cape of Good Hope (1823) and 
a number of other works. Another convert to Christianity, Jan 
Lion Cachet (d. 1912), who came from Holland in 1861, pub- 
lished Sewe Duiwels en wat hulle gedoen het ("Seven Devils 
and What They Did"). Written in serial form, it appeared in 
one volume in 1907. There are several Jewish characters, chiefly 
unsympathetically drawn. Cachet ranks as one of the found- 
ers of literary Afrikaans. Sarah Goldblatt (d. 1975), a writer of 
Afrikaans children's books and short stories, was the literary 
executrix of C.J. Langenhoven (1873-1932), a foremost Afri- 
kaans writer. Another Jewish pioneer of Afrikaans literature, 
best known for his stories and sketches of animal life, was J.M. 
Friedenthal (1886-1959). 

In later years, South African-born Olga Kirsch, who set- 
tled in Israel in 1948, published highly acclaimed collections 

of Afrikaans verse, including Die Soeklig ("The Searchlight," 
1944), dealing with racial issues, Geil Gebied (Fertile Territory 
1976) and four other collections which dealt with general Jew- 
ish and Israeli themes. Peter Blum, an immigrant, won an Af- 
rikaans literary prize for his first collection of poems (1955). 
In Judaic studies, links between Hebrew and Afrikaans 
were established by Rabbi Moses Romm, in his translations 
of the Jewish prayer book and the Ethics of the Fathers; and 
by Roman B. Egert, who published an Afrikaans version of 
the Haggadah (1943). Israel ben Yosef wrote Nofim Rehokim. 
("Verre Landskappe"), translations of Afrikaans poems into 
Hebrew, in collaboration with S.J. Pretorius (1985), and Olyf- 
woestyn. Po'esie uit Verre Lande. ("Poems from Far-off Lands," 
1987), Hebrew poems translated into Afrikaans in collabora- 
tion with Johan Steyn. The Yiddish writer Jacob Mordecai 
Sherman was extremely interested in Afrikaans, publishing 
several essays on its literature. 

Writers in Yiddish 

From 1881 onward, the influx of Yiddish -speaking Jewish im- 
migrants enormously increased the size of the existing South 
African Jewish population. And of these many laid the foun- 
dations for the development of an indigenous South African 
Yiddish literature. 

Yiddish newspapers and journals. The pioneer of Yid- 
dish journalism in South Africa was the professional belle- 
trist, Nehemiah Dov Ber Hoffmann (1860-1928), who in 1889 
brought the first Hebrew- Yiddish typeface to the land. Moving 
from the Cape to the Transvaal in 1890, he founded South Af- 
rica's first Yiddish weekly, Der Afrikaner Israelite which lasted 
six months. Returning to the Cape, Hoffmann started a sec- 
ond weekly - Cape Town's first - titled Ha- Or, which lasted 
from April 1895 to July 1897. David Goldblatt's weekly, Der 
Yiddisher Advokat, which appeared regularly from 1904 until 
1924, was recognized by the government as an official news- 
paper. Hoffmann's volume of memoirs, Sefer Ha-zikhroynes 
(1916) was the first full-length Yiddish book to be printed in 
South Africa. It describes the author's experiences in Europe, 
America (in Hebrew), and Africa. He was the first writer to 
record the eastern European immigrant response to life in 
South Africa. His account of the hardships experienced by 
the traveling Jewish smous was the first appearance in South 
African Yiddish literature of what was to become one of its 
major themes. His Yearbook of 1920 contains important in- 
formation about country communities. 

Yiddish weekly newspapers before World War 11 were 
short-lived. In Johannesburg between 1920 and 1948, six books 
of short stories and essays and four volumes of poetry were 
published. Solomon Fogelson founded a Yiddish weekly, Der 
Afrikaner, in Johannesburg in 1911, and at least three Yiddish 
periodicals were being published at the same time. Fogelson's 
newspaper survived for over 20 years until it was amalgam- 
ated with the Afrikaner Idishe Tsaytung in 1933, directed by 
Boris Gershman. After his death in 1953, the newspaper was 
bought by Levi Shalit in partnership with Shmarya Levin; it 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


closed in 1983. At its peak, it had a weekly readership of 3,000 
and carried regular contributions from distinguished overseas 
writers. Shalit exerted a powerful influence on local Yiddish 
writing through his finely wrought prose. 

There were many short-lived journals, the most robust 
of which came from socialist groups. Between 1912 and 1939 
organizations such as the Gezerd [Gezel shaft far Erdarbet] y 
Po'alei Zion y and the Yiddisher Arbeter Klub produced several 
periodicals. The literary journal that did most to stimulate lo- 
cal creative writing at this time was Dorem Afrike, the organ of 
the Yiddisher Liter arisher Farayn y which appeared first in nine 
issues between 1922 and 1923 and reappeared as a monthly 
from July 1928 to January 1931. 

At a national conference called in Johannesburg in May 
1947, Di Dorem Afrikaner Yiddishe Kultur Federatzie was 
established, and its monthly organ, a new Dorem Afrike y the 
first issue of which appeared in September 1948, was edited 
by Melekh Bakalczuk-Felin. In 1954 the editorship passed to 
David Wolpe, who ran the journal until 1970 and was suc- 
ceeded by a committee chaired by Zalman Levy. It closed in 

In 1949, Pacific Press and its ancillary, Kayor Publishers, 
were founded by Nathan Berger and Joseph Borwein. Between 
them, Kayor and the Kultur Federatzie inaugurated the most 
productive era in local Yiddish publishing. South Africa be- 
came an important center of Yiddish creativity. From 1949 to 
1962, Kayor, in association with the Kultur Federatzie y pub- 
lished six collections of essays and short stories, six volumes 
of poetry and one novel, together with all the journalism and 
most of the Yiddish and Hebrew occasional publications in 
South Africa. 

The horrors of the Holocaust were movingly chronicled 
by two survivors, Levi Shalit (b. 1916) and A. Peretz, who lived 
in South Africa before they emigrated to Israel. 


prose. A normative figure in early South African Jewish 
life was the old bachelor, who stayed single because he could 
not afford to bring over a bride from the Old Home. For some, 
brides were sent out from Lithuania. Married men often could 
not afford to bring their families to join them. There was also 
considerable intermarriage with Afrikaans, black, and col- 
ored women in country districts. Sensitively treated, all these 
matrimonial complexities, common in the immigrant experi- 
ence, became recurring subject matter. Many immigrant Jews 
went to work in the exploitative stores-cum-eating-houses 
which the mining companies granted by concession to en- 
trepreneurs, mostly Jewish themselves. There they lived soli- 
tary lives, working long hours in unhygienic conditions. To 
describe these places and those who worked in them, Yiddish 
speakers created two neologisms which entered the language 
as unique South Africanisms: kaffireater y the place, from the 
pejorative English title "kaffir eating-house"; and kaffireatnik y 
which became one of the stock figures of South African Yid- 
dish literature. The problem of adaptation and the ensuing 

conflict between traditional ways of Jewish life and the de- 
mands of accommodation are understandably another chief 
focus of the writing. The love-hate relationship between Af- 
rikaners and Jews recurs in different forms, but the alienat- 
ing and bitter gulf between black and white most profoundly 
touches sensitive observers. 

The earliest, most important figures in South African Yid- 
dish literature were Hyman Polsky (1871-1944), Morris Hoff- 
man (1885-1940), and Jacob Mordecai Sherman (1885-1958). 
Polsky, a journalist on Fogelson's Yiddish weekly, assumed its 
editorship in 1933 and remained its chief contributor. A selec- 
tion of his best stories was published in Warsaw under the title 
In Afrike in 1939, republished in 1952. Morris Hoffman spent 
most of his life as a shopkeeper in the Little Karoo and pub- 
lished a major anthology of poetry, Woglungsklangen ("Songs 
of a Wanderer"), in Warsaw in 1935. After his death, his widow 
published a selection of his stories titled Unter Afrikaner Zun 
("Under the African Sun") in 1951. Apart from contributing 
extensively to all the country's Yiddish publications and edit- 
ing several periodicals himself, Sherman worked in almost all 
literary genres and produced South Africa's first Yiddish novel, 
Land fun Gold un Zunshayn ("Land of Gold and Sunshine"). 
His fiction, which was often autobiographical, depicted the 
relationships in farming communities between Afrikaner and 
Jew and between black and white. He also concentrated on the 
problem of marriages outside the faith. 

Black-white relations, and the hardships of black peo- 
ple, were powerfully drawn by Richard Feldman (1917-1968), 
prominent in Transvaal labor movements. His volume of short 
stories, Shvarts un Vays y was published in South Africa in 1934, 
and republished in America 20 years later. 

Der Regn hot Farshpetigt ("The Rains Came Late"), short 
stories by Nehemiah Levinsky (1901-1957), showed insight 
and compassion concerning the interrelationships between 
Jews, blacks and coloreds, and a deep understanding of Afri- 
can tribal customs. The most prolific Yiddish humorist was 
Hersh Shisler (1903-1978). Hyman Ehrlich published a book 
of satirical sketches in 1950, titled OtAzoy ("That's the Way"), 
and a book of childhood reminiscences, Dankere y in 1956. A 
gifted short- story writer was Samuel Leibowitz (1912-1976), a 
regular contributor to all the local Yiddish periodicals. Other 
talented writers were Leibl Yudaken (1904-1989); Wolf Rybko 
(1896-1955), who wrote in Hebrew and Yiddish; and Chaim 
Sacks, who published in 1969 a series of vignettes of life in his 
father's rabbinical household in Poland titled S'lz Geven a Mol 
("Once Upon a Time"). 

Mendel Tabatznik (1894-1976) produced South Africa's 
second Yiddish novel, Kalman Bulan y a family saga which 
shows a realistic appreciation of the inexorable processes of 
assimilation. His stories, one -act plays, two volumes of mem- 
oirs and two volumes of poems sensitively examine all aspects 
of Jewish life in South Africa. Memoirs have always been a 
chief feature of all Yiddish literature, and 15 volumes have ap- 
peared in South Africa. Some writers never really adjusted to 
life in the African environment and looked back with sadness 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



to the world left behind in eastern Europe, forever obliterated 
by the Holocaust. 

Foremost among the writers of non-fiction was the po- 
lemicist and researcher, Leibl Feldman (1896-1975), a passion- 
ately committed Yiddishist with strong historicist leanings, 
who became the earliest chronicler of South African Jewish 
life. He published five books of history, providing indispens- 
able documentation of early Jewish settlement in South Af- 
rica, particularly in Oudtshoorn and Johannesburg. He was 
also interested in the history of the Indians in South Africa 
and wrote a controversial essay of impressions after visits to 
Israel. David Wolpe (b. 1908) produced two volumes of liter- 
ary criticism and a substantial book of short stories, and in 
1997 and 2002 two volumes of his autobiography. Published in 
Argentina under the series title Muster werk fun der Yidisher 
Literatur ("An Outline of Yiddish Literature"), volume 50 was 
dedicated to South African Yiddish Literature: Dorem-afri- 
kanish - fragmentn fun forsharbrtn tzu der kharakteristik un 
zikhrones ("South African - Fragments of Research Works, 
Literature and Memoirs," 1971). 

south African Yiddish poetry. Yiddish in South Af- 
rica found its most profound expression in poetry. Here 
women made an impressive contribution. Anthologies came 
from Chaya Fedler (d. 1953), Rachiel Levin-Brainin (d. 1980), 
and Leah Benson-Rink. Sarah Eisen (d. 1981) wrote poetry 
in both Yiddish and Hebrew. Her subjects ranged from mem- 
ories of eastern Europe to impressions of Israel and pictures 
of African life. Hyman Ehrlich (1908-1981) wrote children's 
verses before moving to more somber lyrics of two later vol- 

Outstanding among the introspective lyricists were Mi- 
chael Ben Moshe (1911-1983) and David Fram (1903-1988). 
While Ben Moshe explored the anguish of personal pain in 
anthologies like Opris, Fram changed his style from the lyrics 
that had established his reputation in Lithuania to incorporate 
some of the vibrancy of tribal Africa. Fram's epics, published 
in 1947-1948, were Efsher ("Perhaps") and Dos Letste Kapittel 
("The Last Chapter"). His last anthology, A Shwalb Oifn Dakh 
("A Swallow on the Roof"), appeared in 1983. South African 
Yiddish verse continued to achieve international distinction 
in the work of David Wolpe, whose substantial modernist an- 
thology, A Wolkn un a Weg ("A Cloud and a Way," 1978), was 
awarded the Itzik Manger Prize for Yiddish Literature in Jeru- 
salem in 1983. Among other volumes Krikveg, lider - poemes 
("The Way Back - Poems") appeared in 1991 and Iber meine 
vegn, lider, poemes, dertzaylungen ("Above My Ways, Poems 
and Stories") in 2002. 

Yiddish drama in south Africa. Yiddish plays, mainly 
written by overseas playwrights, were staged in South Africa 
from 1895. Most of the local work produced between 1916 
and 1954 was light entertainment, performed from typescript, 
sometimes appearing in ephemeral local journals. Only Hirsch 
Brill (1891-1925) attempted to deal with serious dramatic 
themes and published two collections. Steadily declining com- 

munal interest and commercial competition slowly forced all 
Yiddish theater from South Africa's boards. 

There is growing interest in Yiddish literature and in 
keeping Yiddish alive as a spoken language in South Africa. 
In 1983 the University of the Witwatersrand established a Yid- 
dish library. 


The most remarkable South African achievement in Hebrew 
came from Judah Leib *Landau, who arrived to assume a 
rabbinical position in South Africa in 1903. Between 1884 
and 1923, he published overseas eight five-act epic dramas on 
mainly historical themes. Two were staged in Johannesburg. 
Only one dealt with African issues, the rest were concerned 
with the problems of westernization and assimilation, which 
he treated in the many essays he contributed on South Afri- 
can Jews during the period when he was chief rabbi of Johan- 
nesburg. A volume of his poetry was published in Warsaw. N. 
Levinsky and Z.A. Lison published in Israel fiction concern- 
ing South African life. 

S. Aisen, M. Hoffman, and I. Idelson also published po- 
etry in Israel. B. Beikenstadt published an anthology of trans- 
lations from the Hebrew and Yiddish in 1930. I. Ben Yosef's 
Links of Silence was translated by Rachelle Mann and appeared 
in Tel Aviv in 1983. Azila Talit Reisenberger published poetry 
in both English and Hebrew. Her volume Mahazor Ahavah 
("Cycles of Love," 2002) appeared in Israel, as did her volume 
of short stories, Mi-Po ad Kaf ha-Tikvah ha-Tovah ("From 
Here until the Cape of Good Hope," 2004). As well she wrote 
plays and published on Jewish identity in South Africa. 

In the 1930s Jack Rubik founded a monthly Hebrew 
newspaper, Barkai, and produced it regularly until his death 
in 1978. The newspaper died with him. A monthly Hebrew 
supplement, the Musaf Ivrit, to the weekly Zionist Record ran 
from the 1960s and closed in 1987. 

bibliography: D. Sowden, The Jew in South Africa (1945); 
idem, South African Jewry (1965), 119-39; South African Jewish Board 
of Deputies, Books and Writers (1948); E. Bernstein, in: South African 
Jewish Yearbook (1959/60), 21-26; idem, in: jba, 18 (1960/61), 54-61; 
idem, in: Jewish Affairs, 15, no. 5 (1960), 27-32; A. Coetzee, ibid., 
38-41 (Afrikaans); H.D.A. du Toit, ibid., 21, no. 4 (1966), 16-20; S. 
Liptzin, ibid., 23 no. 9 (1968), 28-32; S.I. Mocke, ibid., 6, no. 6 (1951), 
7-10 (Afrikaans); R. Pheiffer, in: Die Burger (March 11 and 12, 1970). 
add. bibliography: C.N. Van der Merwe, Breaking Barriers: 
Stereotypes and Changing of Values in Afrikaans Writing 18/5-1990 
U994); M. Leveson, People of the Book: Images of the Jew in South 
African English Fiction 1880-1992 (1996); V. Belling, Bibliography of 
South African Jewry (1997). 

[Louis Hotz, Dora Leah Sowden, and Joseph Sherman / 

Marcia Leveson (2 nd ed.)] 

SOUTHAMPTON, major port in S. England. Its small me- 
dieval community was expelled in 1236 (Runceval, a house 
owned by the Jewish financier, Benedict of Winchester, was ex- 
cavated in the 1960s). During the 16 th century, Marrano agents 
boarded ships docking at Southampton to inform Marrano 
refugees from Portugal whether it was safe for them to pro- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


ceed to their destination in Flanders. The modern community 
dates from 1833, though individual Jews lived in Southampton 
in the late 18 th century and some were navy agents during the 
Napoleonic Wars. A split in the early congregation was settled 
soon after the appointment of Nathan Marcus *Adler as chief 
rabbi of Anglo-Jewry in 1844. Later Southampton was the 
port largely used by Jews traveling to and from South Africa. 
In 1969 the Jewish population numbered 150, out of a general 
population of 210,000. In the mid-1990s the Jewish population 
numbered approximately 105. According to the 2001 British 
census, there were 293 declared Jews in Southampton. It had 
an Orthodox synagogue. The University of Southampton has 
emerged as one of the major academic centers of Jewish his- 
tory in Britain and contains the Parkes Library, which holds a 
number of important collections of Anglo -Jewish material. 

bibliography: C. Roth, TlieRise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 
100; jyb; Roth, England, index. 

[Vivian David Lipman / William D. Rubinstein (2 nd ed.)] 

SOUTH CAROLINA, southeastern state of the United States, 
bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the states of North Caro- 
lina and Georgia. Jews arrived in the British colony of Caro- 
lina in the early days of European settlement. A new outpost 
in the mercantile traffic of the Atlantic basin, Carolina of- 
fered economic opportunities and a degree of religious tol- 
erance remarkable for the time. The colony's Fundamental 
Constitutions of 1669, drafted by philosopher and physician 
John Locke, who was secretary to one of the eight Lords 
Proprietors, granted freedom of worship to "J ews > Heathens, 
and other Dissenters from the purity of the Christian Reli- 
gion." Although the colonial assembly never endorsed the 
provision, British ^Charleston became known as a place where 
people of all faiths - except Catholics - could do business and 
practice their religion without interference. In 1696, Jews in 
Charleston allied with French Protestants to safeguard their 
rights to trade, and the next year to secure citizenship. 

Most of Carolina's first Jewish settlers traced their roots 
to Spain or Portugal. Expelled during the Inquisition at the 
end of the 15 th century, the Sephardim dispersed around the 
globe and established themselves in capitals and port cities in 
northern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the West Indies. In 
1749, Charleston's Jewish community chartered Kahal Kadosh 
Beth Elohim - one of the first five Jewish congregations in 
America. Like her sister synagogues in New York, Newport, 
Savannah, and Philadelphia, Beth Elohim was Sephardi in 
ritual and practice. Charleston's congregation remained so for 
two generations after the Revolutionary War, though by then 
the majority of South Carolina Jews were Ashkenazi, hailing 
from central or eastern Europe. 

Following the Revolutionary War, South Carolina's Jew- 
ish population surged. When Columbia became the state cap- 
ital in 1786, seven Jewish men from Charleston were among 
the first to buy town lots. Jews in Georgetown, Beaufort, and 
Camden belonged to the business and civic elites. By 1800, 
Charleston was home to the largest, wealthiest, and most cul- 


O Spartanburg 
Rock Hill 


O Florence 
Columbia A Q Sumter ^^ 

Myrtle Beach 

^ OAiken Orangeburg 

Charleston fc 



- 100-500 

- 1,200 

1749 4^ 

A — 

- 2,750 

■ — 

- 5,500 


Total Jewish population of South Carolina 

% of Jews in general population of South Carolina 

% of South Carolina Jews in Jewish population of U.S 




Jewish communities in South Carolina. Population figures for 2001. 

tured Jewish community in North America - upwards of five 
hundred individuals, or one-fifth of all Jews in the nation. 

Carolina's Jews pursued the same goals as their white 
neighbors. Those who could afford it owned slaves. The af- 
fluent lived in finely furnished houses and traveled abroad. 
Many Ashkenazim adopted traditional Sephardi practices 
and assumed an aristocratic view of themselves as "earliest 
to arrive." 

Charleston's highly acculturated Jewish community pro- 
duced the first movement to reform Judaism in America. In 
1824, a group of young Jewish men, mostly American-born, 
petitioned the governing body of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim 
for shorter services, a sermon preached on the Sabbath, and 
prayers in English. Rebuffed in their efforts, the dissidents 
drafted a constitution and established the Reformed Society 
of Israelites. For eight years the reformers worshiped sepa- 
rately, then returned to the traditional congregation. But in 
1840 the reform faction prevailed. With the blessing of Beth 
Elohim's popular minister, Gustavus Poznanski, a proposal to 
install an organ in the new synagogue - a Greek revival tem- 
ple that replaced the original structure, which had burned in 
the great fire of 1838 - was adopted by a narrow margin. The 
traditionalists seceded and formed Shearit Israel (Remnant of 
Israel), with its own burying ground adjacent to Beth Elohim's 
Coming Street cemetery. A brick wall separated the dead of 
the two congregations. 

While schism in Beth Elohim divided traditionalists and 
reformers, a new group of immigrants introduced another 
brand of orthodoxy to Charleston. People of modest means - 
peddlers, artisans, metalworkers, bakers - the newcomers gave 
the city's Jewish population a more foreign appearance than 
before. As early as 1852, these eastern European Jews began 
meeting under the leadership of Rabbi Hirsch Zvi Levine, re- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



cently arrived from Poland. In 1855, they formally organized as 
Berith Shalome (now Brith Sholom) or "Covenant of Peace," 
the first Ashkenazi congregation in South Carolina and one 
of the first in the South. 

As the southern states began seceding from the Union 
in i860 and 1861, Jews rallied to the Confederate cause. Thou- 
sands of Jewish men served in the southern armies, while 
Jewish women, in accord with their gentile sisters, threw 
themselves into the war effort, sewing uniforms, knitting 
socks, rolling bandages, preparing boxes of clothes and pro- 
visions, and working in hospitals to care for the sick and 

After the war, during the period of Reconstruction, some 
South Carolinians of Jewish descent, including the notorious 
"scalawag" governor, Franklin J. Moses, Jr., supported the Rad- 
ical Republicans' drive to build a new society. However, most 
backed the Redeemers' crusade to restore white rule. Jewish 
women such as Octavia Harby Moses and Phoebe Yates Levy 
Pember were prominent in memorializing the "Lost Cause." 
In the shared experience of defeat, Jewish Confederates dem- 
onstrated their fierce sense of belonging. 

Beginning in the 1880s, East European migration to 
America brought about a dramatic increase in the nation's 
Jewish population. Charleston's Jewish population, which had 
remained flat for decades at around 700, doubled between 
1905 and 1912. The neighborhood where the "greenhorns" set- 
tled was called "Little Jerusalem." Immigrant men commonly 
started out as peddlers, then established small businesses. At 
one time some 40 stores on upper King Street were closed on 
Saturday, in observance of the Jewish Sabbath. The men held 
prayer services above stores. The women kept kosher homes. 
They trained their African American help to make potato 
kugel and gefilte fish, and they learned, in turn, to fix fried 
chicken and okra gumbo. 

By World War 1, Jewish communities in the midlands 
and upcountry had grown large enough to support syna- 
gogues. Meanwhile, some country clubs, fraternities, and so- 
rorities barred Jews, who responded by forming their own so- 
cial groups and athletic teams modeled on the ones that kept 
them out. These organizations helped unify Jews around an 
ethnic identity without regard to place of birth, date of arrival 
in America, and degree of observance. 

The revival of the Ku Klux Klan disturbed southern Jews' 
sense of well-being. In the heyday of Jim Crow, however, the 
primary targets of discrimination were blacks. Jews generally 
found themselves on the safe side of the racial divide. They 
demonstrated their loyalty to country and region in patriotic 
parades and party politics. When the United States entered 
World War 11, Jewish southerners joined in the mobilization 
to fight the Japanese and Nazi foes. 

As a result of the Holocaust in Europe, America's place 
in world Jewry changed radically. Now more than half of all 
Jewish people were living in the United States. In many ways, 
South Carolina was a microcosm of the nation. The class of 
Jewish merchants had begat a generation of lawyers, doctors, 

accountants, and college teachers, who shifted the Jewish eco- 
nomic niche away from retail business. With the rest of the 
white American mainstream, urban Jews abandoned the old 
neighborhoods and moved to the suburbs - a migration that 
coincided with the first stirrings of the civil rights movement 
and the rise of Conservative Judaism. 

By the end of 20 th century, Jewish populations in most 
small towns across the South had dwindled, while suburban 
and resort congregations were continuing to grow. South 
Carolina's Jews remained prominent in political life. Solomon 
Blatt, of Barnwell, served for 30 years in the state legislature, 
ending his final term as Speaker of the House in 1970. Numer- 
ous other Jewish lawmakers have filled seats in both houses, 
and, since World War 11, more than a dozen Jews have been 
elected as mayors of South Carolina towns and cities. 

South Carolina mirrors the nation in the drift toward 
more traditional observance - a trend in all divisions of Ju- 
daism. The Addlestone Hebrew Academy in Charleston and 
Lubavitcher Chabads in Myrtle Beach and Columbia teach 
Hebrew and religious studies in day schools to an increas- 
ingly diverse student population that includes newcomers 
from other parts of America, and from Russia and the Mid- 
dle East as well. 

bibliography: S. Breibart, Explorat ions in Charlestons Jew- 
ish History (2005); B.A. Elzas, The Jews of South Carolina, From the 
Earliest Times to the Present Day (1905, reprint, 1972); "The Diary of 
Joseph Lyons (1833-35)," a new an d unabridged transcript edited, an- 
notated, and introduced by M. Ferrara, H. Greene, D. Rosengarten, 
and S. Wyssen, in: American Jewish History, 91:3 (Sept. 2003); B. Ger- 
gel and R. Gergel, In Pursuit of the Tree of Life: A History of the Early 
Jews of Columbia and the Tree of Life Congregation (1996); J.S. Gur- 
ock, Orthodoxy in Charleston: Brith Sholom Beth Israel & American 
Jewish History (2004); J.W. Hagy, This Happy Land: The Jews of Co- 
lonial and Antebellum Charleston (1993); Jewish Heritage Collection. 
Special Collections, College of Charleston Library, Charleston, South 
Carolina. For excerpts from the jhc oral history archives, see www.; C. Reznikoff and U.Z. Engelman, The Jews of Charles- 
ton: A History of an American Jewish Community (1950); R.N. Rosen, 
The Jewish Confederates (2000); T. Rosengarten and D. Rosengarten 
(eds.), A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jew- 
ish Life (2002). See on-line version of the exhibition "A Portion of the 
People" at 

[Dale Rosengarten (2 nd ed.)] 

SOUTH DAKOTA, state in the upper Midwest sector of the 
United States; general population 756,000 (2001) with ap- 
proximately 300 Jews. As a result of the gold rush, Jews settled 
in the Dakota territory as early as 1876. Two Utopian agricul- 
tural communities, Cremieux and Bethlehem Yehudah, were 
founded in 1882 by the *Am Olam. They were defunct by 1885. 
Other Jewish homesteaders, particularly in the western part 
of the state stayed on the land longer. Movement to towns and 
to commercial activity was common. 

There were once congregations in Deadwood, Lead, 
Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, and at Ellsworth Air Force Base in 
Rapid City. Today there are two: Mt. Zion in Sioux Falls 
and the newer Synagogue of the Hills in Rapid City, both 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


• Aberdeen 


• Rapid City 

Sioux Falls 


Total Jewish population 
of South Dakota 


% of Jews 

in general population 

of South Dakota 


% of South Dakota Jews 
in Jewish population 

of U.S. 


• 50-1 95 

Jewish communities in South Dakota. Population figures for 2001. 

served by student rabbis. Blanche Colman, a native of Dead- 
wood, became the first woman to practice law in the state 
and worked as legal counsel for the Homestake Mining Com- 
pany. She is buried, along with her family and other Jewish 
gold seekers, in the "Hebrew Hill" section of the communal 
Mt. Moriah Cemetery, where Wild Bill Hickock and Calam- 
ity Jane are also interred. Other noteworthy South Dakota 
Jews include agronomist Sam Bober, who in the 1920s and 
1930s developed rust resistant strains of wheat and the Adel- 
stein family of Rapid City whose Northwestern Engineering 
Company is one of the largest private civil engineering firms 

in America. r «.,,*, 

[Linda M. Schloff (2 nd ed.)] 

SOUTH WEST AFRICA (Namibia). Jewish connections 
with the territory were established even before its conquest 
by the Germans when it became a German colony. During 
the middle of the 19 th century the *De Pass brothers, Jewish 
merchants from Cape Town, established trading posts on the 
Namaqualand coast, and in 1861 started the Pomona Copper 
Company. German Jews were allowed much more scope in 
the territory after its establishment as a colony. Carl *Fuer- 
stenberg, a German Jewish banker, was responsible, as head 
of the Berliner Handellgesellschaft, for the development of the 
diamond industry, and he also organized the construction of 
the railway line from Luderitz Bay to Kubub. Emil * Rathenau 
created the German South West African Mining Syndicate and 
established a research company in 1907 for the study of irriga- 
tion problems. Walther *Rathenau was one of the two experts 
sent by Kaiser Wilhelm 11 to report on administrative reforms. 
The number of Jews in South West Africa under German rule 
was no more than about 100, most of them in Swakopmund. 
During the campaign of 1915, which ended in the conquest of 
the territory by South African forces, the men were interned 
and their families sent to Windhoek. After South Africa was 
granted a mandate over it by the League of Nations after World 
War 1, however, the Jewish population increased, and in 1965 
there were 400-500 Jews in a total white population of about 
68,000, of whom the overwhelming majority lived in Wind- 
hoek, which has a Hebrew congregation (dating from 1917), 
a synagogue (completed in 1925), a talmud torah, a commu- 
nal hall, named after Simon (Sam) *Cohen, the most promi- 
nent Jew and benefactor of the community, an active Zionist 
movement supported by generous contributions, and the only 

Jewish minister in the territory. The only other community, at 
Keetmanshoop, which had about 12 families, a congregation 
(founded in 1910), and a synagogue, ceased to exist when the 
number of Jewish families was reduced to five and their si- 
frei torah were sent to Windhoek. In addition, there are a few 
families in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. L. Kerby served as 
town clerk of Windhoek for many years, and was responsible 
for the layout and upkeep of the beautiful cemetery which is 
one of the showpieces of Windhoek. 

Jack Louis Levinson, the husband of Olga *Levinson, 
who has been a member of the municipal council for 25 years 
was mayor from 1963 to 1965 and was succeeded by Sam Da- 
vis. Mr. George May was another Jewish councilor. 

In November 1980 Windhoek became a twin city with 
Kiryat Telshe Stone, a settlement outside Jerusalem. 

The political developments including the cancellation of 
the League of Nations mandate by the United Nations and the 
proclamation of the establishment of an independent republic, 
called Namibia, has brought about a considerable dwindling 

of the Jewish population. 

[Lewis Sowden] 

COUNT (1873-1946), British newspaper owner. The son of 
Polish immigrants who settled in Birmingham, England, and 
then moved to London, South wood started his career in Lon- 
don as an office boy and became one of the leaders of the news- 
paper industry. At the age of 21 he joined the jobbing printers 
firm of Odhams Brothers. Four years later he was appointed 
a director and became managing director in 1920. From 1906 
Odhams published Horatio Bottomley's populist and scurri- 
lous weekly, John Bull, which at its peak sold two million cop- 
ies. After Bottomley was jailed for fraud, Southwood rebuilt 
the firm, adding more newspapers and magazines with vast 
circulations. Among them were the Labor paper Daily Herald, 
which reached a circulation of 2,000,000, and the weekly, The 
People, with 3,000,000. Other papers Odhams controlled were 
John Bull, Illustrated, Sporting Life, Woman, and News Review. 
Southwood was the only one of Britain's leading "presslords" 
to support the Labour Party, serving as deputy leader of the 
Labour Party in the House of Lords. Southwood associated 
himself with many charities and was chairman of funds in aid 
of hospitals, boys' clubs, children, and the blind. He was made 
a baron in 1937, taking the title of Lord Southwood, and a vis- 
count in 1946. He was buried as an Anglican; his biography, 
Viscount Southwood, published in 1954 by R.J. Minney, makes 
no mention of the fact that he was Jewish. 

bibliography: H. Herd, March of Journalism (1952), 262; The 
Times (April 11, 1946). add. bibliography: odnb online. 

[Irving Rosenthal] 

SOUTINE, CHAIM (1893-1943), Russian-French painter. 
Soutine was born at Smilovitchi in Lithuania, the tenth of 
eleven children of a poor tailor. Chaim was interested in noth- 
ing but drawing, and at the age of fourteen he ran away, first 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



to Minsk, then to Vilna, where he enrolled at the School of 
Fine Arts. Attending school during the day, Soutine worked 
at night. In 1913, a physician who appreciated his talent pro- 
vided him with money to go to Paris. There he met Amedeo 
*Modigliani, nine years his senior, who tried to help him. At 
one time, he and Modigliani shared a garret in Montmartre 
that contained only one cot, on which they took turns sleep- 
ing. To make a living, Soutine copied old masters at the Lou- 
vre, worked as a porter at a railroad station, or as a ditch dig- 
ger. Overcome by despair, he once tried to commit suicide. 
His situation improved after the dying Modigliani recom- 
mended him to his art dealer. Thanks to the dealers efforts, 
the American art collector, Albert C. Barnes, visited Soutine's 
studio and bought more than fifty of his paintings (they are 
now all at the Barnes Foundation at Merion, near Philadelphia, 
Pa.). After this meeting in 1922, Soutine produced many oils, 
and his reputation spread to England and the United States. 
When World War 11 broke out, he refused opportunities to 
go to the United States. After the Nazi invasion of France he 
was forced to hide in a small village in Touraine. The constant 
threat of being discovered made him ill with ulcers. In Au- 
gust 1943 a friend rushed him to a hospital in Paris where, af- 
ter an operation, he died at the age of 50. Soutine never drew 
subject matters from memories of his early life in the ghetto. 
Instead, he portrayed the people, places, and scenes around 
him. He was an expressionist who rendered in violent color 
all the agony that he felt in his subject matter. He used paint 
in heavy impasto, and his colors, even more than his tech- 
nique, betrayed his troubled mind. His canvases often remind 
one of bleeding, tortured flesh. Everything is broken, twisted, 
distorted. Even in his landscapes, there is a continuous cata- 
clysmic movement. The body of his work consists of about six 
hundred oil paintings, many of which were acquired by mu- 
seums all over the world. 

bibliography: A. Forge, Soutine (Eng., 1965); M. Tuchman, 
Chaim Soutine (Eng., 1968), catalog of exhibition (Los Angeles); R. 
Cogniat, Soutine (Fr., 1945); E. Szittya, Soutine et son temps (1955). 

[Alfred Werner] 

SOVERN, MICHAEL IRA (1931- ), U.S. legal scholar and 
arbitrator. Sovern, who was born in New York City, received 
his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1955. He taught 
at the University of Minnesota Law School in 1955-58, then 
at Columbia Law School, becoming a full professor in i960, 
the youngest modern Columbia faculty member to achieve 
this rank. As a legal scholar Soverns main interest was labor 
relations and employment discrimination. He published Le- 
gal Restraints on Racial Discrimination in Employment (1966) 
and was co-author of the text Cases and Materials on Law and 
Poverty (1969). He served as special counsel on the New York 
State Joint Legislative Committee on Industrial and Labor 
Conditions. Working for effective legal services for the poor, 
Sovern helped found the Legal Services Unit of Mobilization 
for Youth. He supervised legal education for civil rights law- 
yers and chaired the committee on labor and industry of the 

American Civil Liberties Union. Sovern devoted effort to ad- 
vancing public understanding of the U.S. legal system through 
his television series Due Process for the Accused. 

As a labor arbitrator in public and private disputes, he 
arbitrated disputes in the New York City public schools, Pan 
American World Airways, and the New York Telephone Com- 
pany, among others. Active in mediation during the 1968 
disorders at Columbia, he presided over the faculty execu- 
tive committee, which examined the causes of the disrup- 
tion and made recommendations for their alleviation, which 
were adopted. In 1970 he was appointed dean of Columbia 
Law School, the first Jew to hold this post. He emphasized 
that skill in conciliation, as well as in adversary proceedings, 
should be a task of law school education. In 1979 he was named 
executive vice president for academic affairs and provost of 
the university. He assumed the role of university president in 
1980, serving in that capacity until 1993. During his tenure as 
president he effected such achievements as creating the uni- 
versity's intellectual property policy, which began to bring in 
an annual revenue of $100 million; opening Columbia College 
to co-education without compromising Columbia's affiliate, 
Barnard College for women; increasing student scholarships 
and expanding the enrollment of minority students; and ne- 
gotiating the sale of Columbia's land under Rockefeller Cen- 
ter to the Rockefeller family for $400 million, which enabled 
the university to improve its facilities and increase salaries. In 
1993 he was named president emeritus and returned to teach- 
ing at the university's law school. 

Sovern wrote Legal Restraints on Racial Discrimination in 
Employment (1966) and Of Boundless Domains (1994). 

[Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

SOVETISH HEYMLAND ("Soviet Homeland"), the only 
Yiddish literary journal in the post-Stalinist Soviet Union, 
published as an organ of the Soviet Writers' Union. Sovetish 
Heymland made its appearance in July- August 1961, origi- 
nally as a bi-monthly and, from January 1965, as a monthly. 
Apart from a few books in Yiddish that began to be published 
in Moscow in 1959, this magazine was a partial response of 
the Soviet authorities to the continued and forceful demands, 
mostly external, made upon them to reverse the process inau- 
gurated at the end of 1948 of completely obliterating all mani- 
festations of Jewish cultural life. This process had led to the 
execution of important Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union 
on August 12, 1952. 

The editorial board, headed by Aaron * Vergelis, was com- 
posed of the few surviving Yiddish writers and changed sig- 
nificantly in the 1970s and 1980s, when some members died, 
immigrated to Israel, or quarreled with Vergelis. Like other 
periodicals of its kind appearing in the USSR, Sovetish Heym- 
land devoted about two-thirds of its space to belles lettres and 
the remainder to literary criticism, research papers, ideologi- 
cal articles, memoirs, an account of Jewish cultural events in 
the Soviet Union and abroad, regular columns (such as the 
one on old Jewish books), polemical sections, etc. Most of the 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


contributors were Yiddish authors living in the Soviet Union. 
The magazine also frequently presented translations of Soviet 
authors and, from time to time, contributions by Yiddish and 
Hebrew writers living outside the Soviet Union, provided, as 
a rule, that they were sympathizers of the communist move- 
ment. The magazine was illustrated and well edited and earned 
the reputation of being one of the most attractive Yiddish jour- 
nals published at the time. 

The material published by Sovetish Heymland fully re- 
flected the ideology of Soviet patriotism prevailing in the pub- 
lications in other languages in the USSR. Thus, compared to 
Soviet magazines that followed a "liberal" line in literature, 
such as Novy Mir, Sovetish Heymland displayed much greater 
circumspection. The literary standard was often lower than 
that of Soviet Yiddish literature before the liquidation of 1948, 
although every issue contained interesting and appealing 
items. Most of the contributors were the disciples of the liq- 
uidated writers. Their Jewish aspect was expressed primarily 
by works dealing with the Holocaust and World War 11 and 
by attempts to portray Soviet Jewish life; initially the liquida- 
tion of Yiddish literature was only hinted at, but from 1988 it 
became one of the main topics. Until 1970 the journal exer- 
cised great restraint over any topic related to Israel and did not 
contain the vicious attacks on the state found in other Soviet 
publications, especially after the Six-Day *War (1967). On the 
other hand it sharply refuted reports on the situation of So- 
viet Jewry published in the West. Sovetish Heymland fulfilled 
a positive role in domestic Jewish life by providing Yiddish 
material to a considerable readership and serving as a symbol 
of Jewish identity in a country that had so few opportunities 
for Jewish expression. 

From 1970, when the journal became a forum for viru- 
lent anti-Zionist propaganda, it lost many readers and friends 
in the country and, especially, abroad. In the 1980s the edi- 
torial office trained a group of younger writers, such as Bo- 
ris *Sandler (1950- ) and Velvl Chenin (1958- ). Following 
the collapse of the Soviet state-sponsored publishing system, 
the journal was saved by foreign sponsors and appeared spo- 
radically in 1993-97 under the name of Di Yidishe Gas ("Jew- 
ish Street"). 

bibliography: M. Abramowicz, in: Molad, 163 (1962), 11-17; 
H. Sloves, in: Yidishe Kultur (n.y., Oct. 1966), 4-17; J. and A. Brum- 
berg, Sovetish Heymland, An Analysis (1966); Midstream, 12 (1966), 
49; E. Schulman, in: Judaism, 14, no. 1 (Winter, 1965), 6071; idem, in: 
Reconstructionist, 37, no. 4 (June 11, 1970), 13-17. add. bibliogra- 
phy: G. Estraikh, in: East European Jewish Affairs, 25:1 (1995), 1-12; 
idem, Soviet Yiddish (1999), index; idem, in: T. Parfitt and Y. Egorova 
(eds.), Jews, Muslims and Mass Media (2004), 133-43. 

[Chone Shmeruk/ Gennady Estraikh (2 nd ed.)] 

SOYER, MOSES (1899-1974), U.S. painter. Born into a cul- 
tured family, Moses Soyer, his twin brother Raphael *Soyer, 
and younger brother Isaac Soyer all became well-known art- 
ists associated with the Social Realist style of painting. The 
family was forced out of czarist Russia in 1912, at which time 

they immigrated to the United States, ultimately settling in the 
Bronx. Soyer took free art classes at the Cooper Union and the 
National Academy of Design in the late 1910s; met the Ashcan 
artist Robert Henri at the Ferrar Art School, whose uncompro- 
mising representations of city life greatly influenced him; and 
studied at the Educational Alliance, where he formed friend- 
ships with Peter *Blume and Chaim * Gross. In 1923 Soyer be- 
gan teaching at the Educational Alliance, where he continued 
to work intermittently throughout his life. 

Soyer spent a year in Europe after winning a travel schol- 
arship from the Educational Alliance (1926). After enjoying 
his first one-person exhibition at J.B. Neumanns Art Circle 
Gallery in 1929, Soyer showed his work regularly. 

As a Works Progress Administration artist, Soyer painted 
ten portable murals addressing the life of the child, which 
were installed at children's hospitals and libraries throughout 
New York, and jointly designed a mural for the Kingsessing 
Station post office in Philadelphia with Raphael. During the 
Great Depression he also painted images of the unemployed 
and homeless in a representational fashion. 

Inspired by the work of Edgar Degas, one of his favor- 
ite artists, and his dancer- wife, beginning in the 1940s Soyer 
made canvases of dancers rehearsing and at rest with a ges- 
tural, loose brushstroke. Throughout his life Soyer remained a 
figurative painter, frequently imaging studio nudes naturalisti- 
cally. Indeed, Soyer s models are often shown at introspective, 
even troubled moments, and those who sat for portraits with 
the painter, notably many of the artist s friends, were never 
unnecessarily flattered. As Soyer accurately observed: "Most 
of my paintings reflect an interest in the casual moments in 
the life of plain people, the gestures and natural attitudes they 
fall into when they perform habitual tasks, when they are in 
thought, and when they are not observed by other people." 
Soyer s work was shown at a posthumous retrospective at the 
Whitney Museum of American Art in 1985. 

bibliography: C. Willard, Moses Soyer (1962); A. Wer- 
ner, Moses Soyer (1970); M. Soyer, Moses Soyer: A Human Approach 


[Samantha Baskind (2 nd ed.)] 

SOYER, RAPHAEL (1899-1987), U.S. painter and print- 
maker. Born in Borisoglebsk, Russia, Raphael Soyer was one 
of three of the six Soyer children - along with his twin brother 
Moses * Soyer and younger brother Isaac Soyer - who became 
artists. In 1912, when the family was forced to leave Russia be- 
cause their "Right to Live" permit was revoked, they immi- 
grated to the United States, settling in the Bronx. 

After taking drawing classes at the Cooper Union (1914- 
17), Soyer studied at the National Academy of Design (1918-22) 
and the Art Students League, where he attended classes inter- 
mittently from 1920 until 1926. Soyer enjoyed his first one-man 
show at New York's Daniel Gallery in 1929. It was there that his 
painting Dancing Lesson (1926, Collection Renee and Chaim 
Gross, New York), often understood as the exemplar of Jew- 
ish American art, was first exhibited publicly. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Throughout his career, Soyer was interested in Social 
Realist themes, which he both painted and showed in prints. 
During the Great Depression he often created dark-hued, 
compassionate renderings of the down-and-out in works such 
as In the City Park (1934, private collection, New York). 

Soyer retreated into his studio in the 1940s and 1950s. 
Indeed, self-portraits at his easel and studio scenes of female 
nudes comprise Soyer's artistic interests at this time, as did 
portraits of his artist -friends and artists he admired. At a 
1941 one-man show at the Associated American Artists Gal- 
lery, 23 of Soyer's artist-portraits were exhibited in a section 
entitled "My Contemporaries and Elders." Among the paint- 
ings displayed were portraits of Phillip Evergood and Abra- 
ham *Walkowitz. In the late 1950s Soyer started to paint out- 
door scenes again, most of which were figurative canvases, 
such as Farewell to Lincoln Square (1959, Hirshhorn Museum 
and Sculpture Garden, Washington, d.c). Inspired by Soyer's 
eviction from the Lincoln Arcade Building, where he kept a 
studio for 14 years, the large, colorful painting includes a self- 
portrait of the artist. 

Remaining a representational artist in an abstract art 
scene, Soyer founded the periodical Reality: A Journal of Art- 
ists Opinions, published annually from 1953 to 1955 to declare 
the importance of imaging "man and his world." 

After meeting Isaac *Bashevis Singer in the elevator of his 
New York apartment building, Soyer worked on several proj- 
ects with the Yiddish writer. Soyer illustrated a Limited Edi- 
tions Club publication of two Singer stories, "The Gentleman 
from Cracow" and "The Mirror" (1979), and the second and 
third volumes of Singer's memoirs, A Young Man in Search of 
Love (1978) and Lost in America (1981). Soyer chronicled as- 
pects of his life in four autobiographies. 

bibliography: L. Goodrich, Raphael Soyer (1972); S. Cole, 
Raphael Soyer: Fifty Years of Printmaking, 1917-1967 (1978); M. Heyd 
and E. Mendelsohn. 'Jewish' Art? The Case of the Soyer Brothers" 
in: Jewish Art (1993-94), 194-211; S. Baskind, Raphael Soyer and the 
Search for Modern Jewish Art (2004). 

[Samantha Baskind (2 nd ed.)] 

SPACE AND PLACE (in Jewish Philosophy). 


The term "place" has three meanings for * Philo, one physical 
and two theological: (1) the space taken up by a body, (2) the 
divine *logos, and (3) God Himself (Som. 1:11, 62-64). The first 
definition is probably derived from Stoic philosophy and is, in 
fact, similar to Aristotle's definition. In contrast to the latter, 
however, Philo's conception is based on the existence of three- 
dimensional space, which is itself independent of the bodies 
which fill it. The second definition does not relate to physical 
space; the place identified with the divine logos is said to be 
wholly filled by God Himself. On the other hand, it is char- 
acteristic of Philo's thought to ascribe a spatial relationship to 
the place of the third definition: "God Himself is called a place, 
by reason of His containing things, and being contained by 
nothing whatever.. . for He is that which He Himself has oc- 

cupied, and naught encloses Him but Himself. I, mark you, 
am not a place, but in a place; and each thing likewise that ex- 
ists. . . and the Deity, being contained by nothing, is of neces- 
sity Itself Its own place." 

Philo's third definition relates to Jewish tradition. Jew- 
ish sources often refer to God as "Place" (Makom); a usage 
which was prevalent before Philo's time. Several Greek writ- 
ers who preceded Philo, in referring to the God of the Jews, 
used the term makkif ("containing"), which appears in Philo's 
third definition. Later midrashic texts (e.g., Gen. R. 8:10) state 
explicitly that God is "the place of the world and His world 
is not His place." 

In the Muslim world the first Karaite thinkers accepted 
the atomistic theories of the Mu'tazilites (see *Kalam), accord- 
ing to which not only bodies composed of atoms are insepa- 
rable, but there also exist equal and indivisible units of space, 
of time, of motion, and of the different qualities. Within a 
unit of motion, the atom passes from one unit of space to an 
adjoining unit. The existence of void space maybe assumed, 
because (according to the notion also held by Greek atom- 
ists) the atoms could not move from place to place in a world 
which has no void. 

Saadiah Gaon 

Saadiah's definition of space is "the meeting of two contigu- 
ous bodies. . . each one of them becomes the place of the other. 
Thus one part of the earth, as it revolves, serves as the locale for 
the other" (Beliefs and Opinions, 1:4). This definition is prob- 
ably based on an incorrect reading of Aristotle's conception, 
and the conclusions which Saadiah derives appear contradic- 
tory: at times he uses Aristotle's view as a proof that God, being 
incorporeal, cannot be in a particular place; at other times he 
seems to be saying that God is everywhere. In his commen- 
tary to Sefer Yezirah, Saadiah speaks of two kinds of air which 
are found everywhere: 

(1) tangible air, and 

(2) the fine air, which he identifies with the biblical "glory 
of God" (see *Shekhinah). 

Jewish Aristotelianism 

Ibn Abi Sa'id, the first Jewish Aristotelian, appears to have 
accepted, in general, Aristotle's definition of place as "the 
limit of the encompassing body." This conception, which was 
commonplace in Muslim and Jewish philosophy, was totally 
rejected by Abu al-Barakat Hibat Allah (Nethanel) *al-Bagh- 
dadi, a Jewish philosopher who converted to Islam in his old 
age. He held the notion that space is a three-dimensional ex- 
tension, which can be seen as both void and filled with bod- 
ies. The human intellect, according to him, has an image of 
void space before having an image of filled space. Contrary 
to Aristotle, whose views he criticizes at length, he believes 
that space is infinite. 

Solomon ibn Gabirol 

According to Solomon ibn Gabirol (in his Mekor Hayyim), 
there is a hierarchy of different kinds of place, some of which 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


are spiritual (when the spiritual being is the place of spiritual 
form, and "will" is the place of both matter and form), and 
others physical. He refers to the existence of various other 
types of bodies as the "known place." God (the first agent) is 
the infinite place (or space). 

Abraham ibn Daud 

Abraham ibn *Daud attempts (in his Emunah Ramah) to es- 
tablish the derivation of the three dimensions from prime 
matter, "which God created in the beginning," and which in 
itself is apparently non-spatial. The first form which it takes 
on, the corporeal form, is identified with continuity. This form 
affords something a certain measure of solidity and allows the 
three dimensions to come into existence. 


*Maimonides accepts the Aristotelian view of physical place. 
He distinguishes between "particular" and "general" place 
(Guide of the Perplexed, 1:8): the particular place is the place 
of every individual body, which is the body referred to in Ar- 
istotle's definition; the general place, which contains all bod- 
ies, encompasses within its area the upper sphere, and the two 
are identical since, like Aristotle, Maimonides sees the world 
as finite. The term "place," when used to refer to God, desig- 
nates His greatness. 


^Nahmanides recounts the midrashic notion that God is "the 
place of the world." The sages, in his opinion, meant by this 
dictum that God is the form of the world, since form is the re- 
alization (the entelechy) of the perfection of what is contained 
in the world, and is also its limit since it prevents the spread- 
ing out of the worlds dimensions beyond its form. 

Hasdai Crescas 


A basic criticism of the Aristotelian conception of space and 
place is found in Hasdai * Crescas' Or Adonai, whose point of 
view and opinions are sometimes similar to those of Hibat 
Allah. It appears that Crescas was influenced in this critical 
attitude by the anti- Aristotelian physical theories of 14 th - and 
i5 th -century Christian scholastics. Crescas substitutes for the 
Aristotelian conception of two-dimensional place the con- 
ception of three-dimensional space (using the term makom 
("place") to designate both place and space). This three-di- 
mensional space is found within the limits of the world which 
is full of bodies. Crescas' notion that the world is infinite, how- 
ever, leads him to reject the assumption that the existence of 
a void is impossible. It is his opinion that infinite void can ex- 
ist outside the limits of the world, and even within the world 
itself. Crescas also assumes the possibility of the existence of 
more than one world. He maintains, however, that the human 
intellect is incapable of arriving at well-founded conclusions 
in regard to this matter. Like Nahmanides, Crescas holds that 
referring to God as "the place of the world" means that God 
is the form of the world. 

Apparently under Crescas' influence his disciple, Jo- 
seph *Albo, substituted the three-dimensional conception of 

space for the Aristotelian conception (Sefer ha-Ikkarim, 

bibliography: I.I. Efros, The Problems of Space in Jewish 
Medieval Philosophy (1917); H.A. Wolfson, Crescas' Critique of Ar- 
istotle (1929), index, s.v. Place; idem, Philo (1948 2 ), index s.v. Place, 
Space; S. Pines, in: rej, 103 (1938), 3-64; idem, in: paajr, 24 (1955), 
103-36; Ch. Touati, in: Archives d'histoire Doctrinale et Litteraire du 

Moyen Age, 21 (1954), 203-4. 

[Shlomo Pines] 

SPAIN (in Hebrew at first X'OSOX then T1B0), country in S.W. 
Europe. The use of the word "Spain" to denote "Sepharad" 
has caused some confusion in research. Spain came into be- 
ing long after the Jews had been expelled from the Crowns of 
Castile and Aragon, which were jointly ruled by the Catholic 
Monarchs, Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, at the 
time of the expulsion. When Spain emerged, incorporating 
also the Kingdom of Navarre, there were no Jews officially liv- 
ing in the Iberian Peninsula. Sepharad was used in the Middle 
Ages to indicate the entire peninsula and the Jews who lived 
there whose culture emerged as result of the encounter of Ju- 
daism with Greco-Arabic culture that developed in Al-Anda- 
lus. Many major works devoted to Jewish history and culture 
treated as one unit the Jews of all the Hispanic kingdoms that 
subsequently constituted Spain, leaving out Portugal. Baer's 
monumental history does exactly that and he is followed by 
many scholars. 

According to various legends, there were Jews living in 
Spain in biblical times, but no proof exists in support of such 
stories. Most probably, the first group of Jews settled there 
under the Roman Empire and the communities grew rapidly. 
A tombstone inscription attests the presence of Jews in Adra 
(the ancient Abdera) in the third century c.e. They thus wit- 
nessed the conversion of the inhabitants of the Peninsula to 
Christianity, which is probably why the Council of *Elvira 
(305) attempted to effect or maintain a separation between the 
members of the two faiths by forbidding Christians to live in 
the houses of Jews, or to eat in their company, or to bless the 
produce of their fields. 

Under Visigothic Rule 

The weakening of the empire and the arrival of the Visigoths 
changed the face of Spain. From their court in Toledo they 
attempted to restore the shattered Hispanic unity, initially on 
the religious plane, through the conversion of their king Rec- 
cared, originally an Arian, to Catholicism (587). Subsequently, 
in the political sphere, King Sisebut (612-21) broke down the 
last Byzantine stronghold in Spain. It is therefore hardly sur- 
prising that the Church councils of ^Toledo, which were as 
much political as religious assemblies, should have played so 
important a role in the Visigothic state, and thus in the de- 
termination of its policy toward the Jews. As in the case of all 
other subjects, the policy was to have them adopt Catholi- 
cism, which had by then become the state religion. Reccared 
approved the decision of the third Council of Toledo (589) lay- 
ing down that the children of a mixed Jewish -Christian mar- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



riage should be baptized by force. Going even further, Sisebut 
inaugurated a policy of forcible conversion of all the Jews in 
the kingdom. From 613 they were ordered to be baptized or 
leave the kingdom. Thousands of Jews then left Spain, while 
others were converted. Most of the latter, however, took the 
opportunity of returning to Judaism under the rule of his more 
tolerant successor Swintila (621-31). They were joined at this 
time by a number of exiles returning to Spain. At that period 
the official Church doctrine on conversion was formulated: 
Jews must not be baptized by force, and the fourth Council of 
Toledo (633) accepted this. King Sisenand (631-36) supported 
this attitude but, like the council, insisted that those Jews who 
had been converted by Sisebut and reverted to Judaism under 
Swintila must return to Christianity. 

However, this relatively moderate attitude was revoked 
again under King Chintila (636-39) who compelled the sixth 
Council of Toledo (638) to adopt a resolution proclaiming 
that only Catholics might reside in the kingdom of Spain; 
he even anathematized those of his successors who did not 
hold to his decrees against the Jews. Numerous Jews accepted 
baptism and signed a declaration that they would respect 
Christian rites; others chose exile. Under Chintila's succes- 
sor, Chindaswinth (641-49), the application of these laws 
had been neglected to such an extent that his successor, Rec- 
ceswinth (649-72) complained to the eighth Council of To- 
ledo (653) about the presence of Jews in the kingdom. Probably 
some of the exiles had come back and some of the converts 
had returned to Judaism. The king commanded that they be 
brought back within the fold of Christianity, by force if nec- 
essary. Those who had relapsed had to sign a new declara- 
tion, promising to be good Catholics, to reject all Jewish rites, 
and to execute themselves those of their erring brethren who 
backslid into Judaism. However, they were permitted to ab- 
stain from eating pork, which they abhorred. The king decided 
not to drive the unconverted Jews to the font but to make it 
impossible for them to practice Judaism by prohibiting cir- 
cumcision and forbidding them to celebrate the Sabbath and 
the festivals. However, these ordinances were honored more 
in the breach than in the observance and, thanks to various 
allies, even among the clergy, the Jews were able to survive 
in Spain; so much so that the tenth Council of Toledo had to 
remind Christians that they were obliged to observe the laws 
relating to the Jews. 

The next king, Wamba (672-80), expelled the Jews from 
Narbonne and probably also from Septimania (then part of 
Spain), but they did not all leave the Visigothic kingdom. They 
were there when Erwig (680-87) convoked the 12 th Council 
of Toledo to obtain in spite of the traditional ruling of the 
Church, the forced baptism of the Jews. Within a year every 
Jew had to foreswear Judaism, accept baptism for himself and 
his family, and pledge his fidelity to the Christian faith. Those 
who refused were to be penalized by having their belongings 
seized, by corporal punishment, and finally by exile. Simi- 
lar penalties were to be imposed on those who, baptized or 
not, observed Jewish rites. The priests were to gather all the 

Jews in the churches to read out to them the text of the law so 
that none could claim he was unaware of it. Any noble who 
helped the Jews to evade these laws was to lose his rights over 
the Jews and pay a heavy fine. The execution of the laws was 
the task of the clergy, the king reserving several penalties for 
them if they were lax in carrying out his orders. Yet the Jews 
continued to Judaize and even to attack Christianity on some 
occasions for the king could not count on the assistance of 
his people in carrying out the whole of his anti-Jewish policy. 
His successor, Egica (687-702), reversed his attitude, restating 
once more the prescription on forced baptism and suppress- 
ing those disqualifications which oppressed converted Jews, 
while at the same time increasing the benefits to be gained 
from becoming Christian. He passed several measures tend- 
ing to impoverish the Jews and make it impossible for them 
to buy protection from powerful nobles. They were forced to 
sell, at a price fixed by the king, all slaves, buildings, lands, 
and vineyards which they had acquired from Christians. On 
pain of perpetual servitude and confiscation of their goods, 
they were forbidden to conduct commercial transactions with 
Christians or overseas. At the same time their taxes were con- 
siderably increased. In spite of its ratification by the 16 th Coun- 
cil of Toledo (693), this policy was unsuccessful. Soon it was 
rumored that the persecuted Jews were thinking of appeal- 
ing to the Muslim invaders, who had shown themselves to be 
decidedly more tolerant than the Visigoths. Alarmed, Egica 
convened a 17 th council on Nov. 9, 694, accusing the Jews of 
treason and demanding that the severest measures be taken 
against them. Declared as slaves and their possessions confis- 
cated, all the Jews of Spain were given into the hands of Chris- 
tian masters in various provinces. Their masters were charged 
to see that they did not practice Jewish rites and to take their 
children to be brought up from the age of seven by Christian 
tutors and later married to Christians. Those Jews who were 
able to, escaped; the rest were taken into servitude. 

[Simon R. Schwarzfuchs] 

Muslim Spain 

When Tarik b. Ziyad in 711 crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, and 
overran the Visigothic Kingdom, there were no communities 
of openly professing Jews in Spain. But there remained in the 
country many secret Jews who welcomed the Muslims as their 
saviors from long oppression and flocked to join them. Ac- 
cording to reliable Arabic sources the Muslim invaders made 
it their custom to call together the Jews wherever they found 
them and to hand towns which they had conquered over to 
them to garrison. They mention that this happened at Cor- 
doba, Granada, Toledo, and Seville. Since the number of Mus- 
lim soldiers was relatively small, there can be no doubt that 
they appreciated the military help of the Jews who enabled 
them to continue their campaigns without having to leave 
behind them sizable units. So the situation of the Crypto- 
Jews changed abruptly and they occupied the enviable posi- 
tion of a group allied with the new rulers of the peninsula. 
Probably their economic situation changed too, since most 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


of the Visigothic nobles had fled and they could appropriate 
abandoned estates. The immediate sequel of the conquest of 
Spain by the Arabs was apparently that many Jews who had 
left Spain at the time of the religious persecutions by the Vi- 
sigothic kings or their descendants returned from North Af- 
rica where they had found shelter. But soon the Jews began to 
suffer from the exactions of the new rulers who imposed on 
them (as on the Christians) heavy taxes. Even the party strife 
and civil wars which flared up among the Arabs brought down 
many calamities upon them. 

umayyad rule. The * Umayyad kingdom in Spain was es- 
tablished by c Abd al-Rahman i in 755 with its capital at Cor- 
doba in Andalusia. There was relative economic prosperity 
throughout Umayyad rule and Jews were represented in many 
occupations, including medicine, agriculture, commerce, and 
crafts. Jews continued to work in these fields after the fall of the 
Umayyad regime. The tolerance of the Umayyad regime ren- 
dered Muslim Spain a refuge for the Jews and their numbers 
increased within the country. In 839 the Frank bishop *Bodo 
converted to Judaism in *Saragossa, married a Spanish Jew- 
ess, and wrote a tract against Christianity to which Alvaros 
of Cordoba replied. 

Jewish scholarship and culture flourished alongside its 
Arab counterpart and was influenced by it. The Babylonian 
geonim corresponded with rabbis and scholars in the centers 
of *Lucena and ^Barcelona. R. *Amram Gaon sent his prayer 
book to Spanish scholars. The academy at Lucena flourished 
into the 12 th century and is mentioned in responsa as early 
as the ninth. Later Arab geographers cited Lucena, Granada, 
and ^Tarragona as "Jewish cities." The real Jewish cultural re- 
vival began in the tenth century under c Abd al-Rahman in 
(912-961), who assumed the title of caliph in 929 in Cordoba. 
At that time Cordoba was a center of both Arab and Jewish 
culture. This was the time of the political rise of the court phy- 
sician *Hisdai ibn Shaprut, who attained the position of chief 
of customs and foreign trade. Hisdai was also a diplomat who 
negotiated with Christian rulers on behalf of the caliphate. In 
addition, he was a patron of the two leading Hebrew philolo- 
gists, *Dunash b. Labrat and *Menahem b. Saruk. The Jewish 
literati acquired a sense of aesthetics and an appreciation of 
physical beauty from the artistic accomplishment of the Arabs 
in Spain. This sensitivity took root in the mid-tenth century 
and found expression in the Hebrew poetry of medieval Spain 
almost right up to the general expulsion in 1492. 

As head of Spanish Jewry, Hisdai appointed *Moses 
b. Hanokh, who came from Italy, chief rabbi and head of a 
yeshivah at Cordoba. Thus, Spanish Jewry's reliance on the 
Babylonian geonim in halakhic matters decreased. Hisdai is 
the first example of the many- faceted Jewish statesman, com- 
munal leader, and intellectual who was characteristic of the 
community in Muslim Spain. After his death the post of rabbi 
of the Cordoba community was disputed by Joseph b. Isaac 
* Ibn Abitur, supported by the wealthy silk merchant * Ibn Jau, 
and R. *Hanokh b. Moses. The latter emerged victorious and 

his appointment was sanctioned by Caliph al-Hakam 11, the 
patron of the Jewish geographer Ibrahim b. Yaqub. During 
the reign of al-*Mansur (d. 1002) the great Hebrew philologist 
*Hayyuj (Abu Zakariyya Yahya b. Da'ud), who established the 
principle of the trilitteral root, lived in Cordoba. 

the petty principalities. With the decline of Umayyad 
rule after al-Mansur s death, the ^Berber conquest of Cordoba 
(1013), and the demise of the dynasty in the 1030s, Cordoba 
lost its former prominence and the capitals of the various Ber- 
ber and Arab principalities became cultural and commercial 
centers. Jewish taxfarmers, advisers, and physicians served at 
the different courts. The relatively tolerant rulers welcomed 
and esteemed Jewish financiers, advisers in matters economic 
and political gifted writers, scholars, and scientists. The ethos 
of this Jewish upper class was distinguished by several features: 
the desire for and attainment of political power, the harmony 
of religion and secular culture, the study of the Talmud along 
with poetry and philosophy, equal proficiency in Arabic and 
Hebrew. The epitome of the fulfillment of this ideal was the 
poet and halakhist *Samuel ha-Nagid, a refugee from Cor- 
doba who served as vizier and commander of the army of 
Granada from about 1030 to his death in 1056; he was also 
head of the Jewish community. His remarkable career and 
military exploits are recorded in both Hebrew and Arabic 
sources, including his own poetry. Samuel was succeeded by 
his son *Joseph ha-Nagid, whose pride and ambition aroused 
the enmity of certain Muslims, who assassinated him in 1066. 
Inspired by fanatics, Muslims then attacked Granada Jewry 
and many survivors moved to other towns, particularly Lu- 
cena. The Granada massacre marked the first persecution of 
Jews in Muslim Spain. 

Prominent communities in the middle to late 11 th century 
also included Seville, then ruled by the * Abbasid dynasty. (See 
Map: Muslim Spain.) Jewish courtiers included Abraham b. 
Meir ibn *Muhajir, to whom Moses *Ibn Ezra dedicated his 
Sefer ha-Tarshish (Sefer ha-Anka). Under al-Mutamid, Isaac 
ibn *Albalia served as court astrologer and as chief rabbi of 
Seville, and the scholar Joseph *Ibn Migash was sent on dip- 
lomatic missions. Lucena remained an important center of 
learning. Its academy was led by the great talmudist Isaac *A1- 
fasi. His successors were Isaac *Ibn Ghayyat and Joseph ibn 
Migash. During Samuel ha-Nagid s term of office, the Jew *Je- 
kuthiel, who was later murdered by political rivals, served as 
vizier in Saragossa. A dynamic cultural center, Saragossa was 
the home of the philologist and grammarian *Ibn Janah, the 
controversial Bible commentator Moses ha-Kohen ibn *Gika- 
tilla, the important neoplatonic philosopher and poet Solo- 
mon ibn * Gabirol, and the ethical writer *Bahya ibn Pakuda. 
The latter s major work, Far a id al-Qulub (Heb. Hovot ha-Le- 
vavot, "The Duties of the Hearts"), shows the influence of Mus- 
lim ascetic ideals. Other important communities were *Denia, 
a major port in eastern Spain and the residence of the talmud- 
ist R. *Isaac b. Reuben al-Bargeloni, *Tudela, *Almeria, and 
*Huesca. Eleventh-century Toledo, capital of a Berber king- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Map 1. Jewish communities in Muslim Spain in the 11 th century. Shaded area indicates the extent of Christian expansion by 1030. 

dom, had a Jewish population of 4,000 and a * Karaite com- 
munity as well. It was taken by the Christians in 1085. 

thealmoravids. The advance of the reconquest prompted 
al-Mutamid of Seville to request the aid of Yusuf ibn Tashfin 
of North Africa, the leader of the fanatic *Almoravid sect. In 
1086 the latter led the Muslim armies to victory at Zallaka 
against the Castilians commanded by Alfonso vi. Yusuf at- 
tempted to force Lucena Jewry to convert to *Islam, but pay- 
ment of a large sum of money caused him to rescind his de- 
cree. Under his son, Ali (1106-43), Abu Ayyub Sulayman ibn 
Muallim served as court physician and Abu al-Hasan Abra- 
ham b. Meir ibn Kamaniel was sent on diplomatic missions. 
During Alis reign the poets Abu Sulayman ibn Muhajir and 
Abu al-Fath Eleazar ibn Azhar lived in Seville. Cordoba con- 
tinued to prosper and was a cultural center and the residence 
of the gifted poet Joseph b. Jacob *Ibn Sahl (d. 1123) and the 
philosopher Joseph ibn *Zaddik. 

thealmohads. In 1146 the *Almohads, an even more fa- 
natic Berber dynasty of ^Morocco, led by c Abd al-Mumin, be- 
gan their conquest of Muslim Spain, which put an end to the 

flourishing Jewish communities of Andalusia. The practice 
of the Jewish religion was forbidden by the authorities. Syna- 
gogues and yeshivot were closed and Jews were compelled to 
embrace Islam. Many emigrated to Christian Spain; others 
outwardly professed Islam but secretly observed Judaism, an 
ominous portent of the Conversos in Christian Spain a cen- 
tury later. R. Abraham *Ibn Ezra composed a moving elegy 
on the demise of the Andalusian communities. In 1162 these 
secret Jews were active in a revolt against the Almohads, par- 
ticularly in deposing them in Granada. Almohad rule in Spain 
lasted longer than a century. 

In the mid-i3 th century the Castilians conquered a great 
part of Andalusia. The Muslims retained only the kingdom 
of Granada in southeastern Spain. This kingdom, which was 
ruled by the Arab dynasty of Banu al- Ahmar and existed for 
nearly 250 years, contained the important communities of 
Granada, ^Malaga, and Almeria. Although there were peri- 
ods when the rulers of Granada inclined toward religious fa- 
naticism, they employed Jewish counselors and court physi- 
cians. Jews from Christian Spain immigrated to Granada as 
their situation deteriorated. The poet, historian, and talmud- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


ist Saadiah b. Maimon * Ibn Danan was rabbi of Granada in 

the late 15 th century. At that time Isaac *Hamon was court 

physician and very influential in government circles. When 

Granada surrendered to Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492, the 

last Muslim king stipulated that Jews enjoy the same rights 

as other subjects, i.e., judicial autonomy, freedom to practice 

their religion, and permission to emigrate. According to this 

treaty, Conversos who had come from Christian Spain could 

leave within a month. The Catholic monarchs, however, did 

not keep their word and proclaimed the edict of the expulsion 

of the Jews in Granada. 

[Eliyahu Ashtor] 

The Reconquest Period 

For many years the history of the Jews in Christian Spain be- 
came an element in the struggle for the reconquest. In the early 
stages of this the Jews suffered alongside the Muslims from 
the violence of the newly- founded Christian state in Oviedo, 
which regarded itself as the successor of the Visigoths and felt 
bound to punish the so-called treason of the Jews. However, 
in many Christian principalities the influence of the Carolin- 
gian Empire was paramount and the Jews were treated more 

Little is known about the Catalonian Jewish communities 
during this period; their presence is attested by a few tomb- 
stones. More records are available on the communities in the 
county of Leon. In this province a problem arose which per- 
plexed the Christian kings of the reconquest for many years: 
how to settle, colonize, and develop regions won back from 
the Muslim invaders. It is fairly clear that this preoccupation 
prompted a change in their attitude toward the Jews so that 
gradually they began to consider them a useful and even es- 
sential section of the population. Relations with the Christian 
population changed, and this period saw the emergence of 
organized communities, influential in trade and industry, in 
northwest Spain. In the new capital, Leon, from the tenth cen- 
tury the Jews controlled the commerce in textiles and precious 
stones. They also owned many estates in the kingdom. In the 
young state of Castile the judicial status of the Jews was almost 
equal to that of the Christians. In the meantime the Jewish 
population in the small Christian states was insignificant. 

At the beginning of the 11 th century, assisted by the de- 
cline of the caliphate, the Christian hold in Spain increased 
through the initiative of Alfonso v of Leon (999-1027), who 
set himself out to attract settlers to his lands by granting them 
privileges and freedom. Among these new settlers were nu- 
merous Jews, who shared the same advantages as the Chris- 
tians. It is difficult to establish their origins: did they come 
from France or from Muslim Spain, where their situation was 
now less secure than before? At any rate it is highly likely that 
at the beginning of the 11 th century, especially with the onset 
of the Berber invasions, many Jews from the Muslim region 
made their way to the Christian kingdom, attracted by the ad- 
vantages offered to new settlers, to join earlier Jewish arrivals. 
The face of Spanish Jewry was transformed; for the first time 
the influence of Oriental Jewry penetrated a Christian land, 

dislodging the influence of Franco -German Jewry from its 
monopolistic position. 

In spite of the internal reverses and setbacks disturbing 
the countries of Christian Spain, which also had an effect on 
the Jews, Jewish communities were organized and securely 
established. Their status was clearly defined: whether they 
lived on territory belonging to nobles, monastic orders, or 
elsewhere, the Jews belonged to the king, who protected them 
and to whom they owed fealty. For some time this principle 
was interpreted literally - as the blood money due on the kill- 
ing of a Jew had to be paid directly to the king. The abortive 
Crusade of 1063 did not affect the development of the Jewish 
communities. According to legend, the great national hero El 
Cid employed Jews as treasurers, financial agents, lawyers, and 
administrators. Alfonso vi certainly employed as his physician 
and financier the Jew Joseph ha-Nasi * Ferrizuel, called Cidel- 
lus or little Cid, who did a great deal to help his coreligionists. 
It appears that Alfonso was the Spanish king who inaugurated 
a tradition that lasted as long as Spanish Jewry itself: that of 
the Jewish courtiers who, while still remaining faithful to their 
religion, exercised considerable authority over the inhabitants 
of the kingdom. During Alfonso's reign the reconquest suf- 
fered a setback with the defeat of Zallaker in 1086; no doubt 
there were some who cast aspersions on the Jews of the king 
who had refused to fight. 

In the meantime in ^Barcelona the Jews continued to be 
important landowners. According to some estimates, in the 
11 th and 12 th centuries they owned around one-third of the es- 
tates in the county, which explains why the second Council 
of Gerona demanded that they continue to pay the tithes due 
to the Church on land that they had purchased from Chris- 
tians. In 1079 there were at least 60 Jewish heads of families in 
Barcelona. This was the milieu which produced the first great 
figures of Spanish Jewish culture: the rabbi Isaac b. Reuben al- 
Bargeloni ("from Barcelona") the many-faceted ^Abraham b. 
Hiyya ha-Nasi, and the rabbi * Judah b. Barzillai al-Bargeloni. 
Writing in a Christian land, these three authors belonged to 
a totally different cultural environment from their contem- 
porary, Rashi, and attest the originality of Spanish Jewish 
thought which, from the end of the 11 th century, gained in im- 
portance and impact. 

The Golden Age in Spain 

When Toledo fell to Alfonso 1 of Castile in 1085 the Jewish 
inhabitants, unlike the Muslims, did not flee the town, and it 
seems that they continued to live in their old quarter, joined 
there by newcomers from old Castile and Leon and refugees 
from Muslim lands. On the death of the king in 1109, the se- 
curity of the Jews was revealed as illusory since it was based 
solely on royal favor, which more tardily was again extended 
by Alfonso's successor. In the meantime Christianity gained 
ground in Spain. * Tudela fell to King Alfonso 1 of Aragon in 
1115. Jews and Muslims alike were granted full religious free- 
dom, but while the Muslims were ordered to leave the town 
itself the Jews were granted permission to remain in their own 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



quarter, which lay within the city walls. Thus, preferred to 
the Muslims, they were no longer an object of fear to the 
Christians. The Jews of *Saragossa, conquered in 1118, en- 
joyed the same privileges and this precedent was followed in 
almost all towns on the way of the triumphant Christian ad- 

The county of Barcelona, united with the kingdom of 
Aragon in the time of Count Ramon Berenguer iv (1131-62), 
had also taken part in the reconquest. In 1148 *Tortosa fell to 
the count who, having given important possessions to the Jews 
there, promised supplementary freedoms to any of their core- 
ligionists who wished to settle in the town. When * Lerida was 
conquered in 1149, the Jews were once more asked to stay and 
preferred to the Muslims. Nevertheless they were not always 
protected from the maneuve rings of the Christian lords, who 
cared more for immediate gain than for future settlement. At 
this time the focal point of Spanish Jewry had shifted from 
the Muslim south to the Christian north, where the Jewish 
population had increased considerably. However, the inter- 
nal structure of the communities changed little and the rule 
of the notables remained firmly established. The court Jews 
still occupied all important positions, which scarcely troubled 
newcomers, who were above all concerned with establishing 
themselves and finding a means of livelihood. They tended to 
settle in the towns more than in the countryside. Occasion- 
ally the Christian kings gave them the citadel of a conquered 
town and there they established themselves, assuring at the 
same time their internal communal autonomy and external 
security. Engaged largely in commerce and industry and in 
the administration of the possessions of the nobles, the Jews 
were barely concerned with moneylending. 

The Jews were serfs of the king, property of the royal trea- 
sury alone, but in times of stability this meant no more than an 
obligation to pay taxes; the king took no interest in the internal 
structure of the communities, which remained autonomous 
organizations. Known as *aljama (the Arabic name being re- 
tained), the Jewish communities were each independent po- 
litical entities paying taxes directly to the royal treasury, with 
full administrative and judicial autonomy, under the very gen- 
eral supervision of a royal functionary. In the case of suits with 
Christians, the Jews had to take a special *oath more judaico 
and were forbidden to engage in judicial duels. From the end 
of the 12 th century, however, municipal legislation weighed 
more heavily on the Jews: the municipalities were desirous of 
curbing the power of rich Jewish businessmen. But in spite of 
their efforts they did not succeed in supplanting the king as 
the supreme authority over the Jews. Meanwhile in Barcelona, 
Toledo, and Saragossa the Jewish courtiers, an aristocracy in 
their own right, acquired even greater importance. They were 
tax farmers and undertook diplomatic missions and were fre- 
quently looked upon askance by the communities too, whose 
authority they sometimes tried to avoid. It is therefore hardly 
surprising that from the early 13 th century the first signs of a 
democratic reaction were apparent, the poorer demanding 
a voice in the communal councils alongside the rich. In this 

period the *Maimonidean controversy split Spanish Jewry. 
Beginning in Provence, it spread through the Midi, develop- 
ing into a dispute on the very validity of philosophy within 
Judaism. It was the first sign of self-examination by the com- 
munities and of the renunciation of ideas absorbed from the 
Muslim and then from the Christian background. This ten- 
dency was expressed in the condemnation of the writings of 
Maimonides, several of them being suppressed. The contro- 
versy simmered down, only to break out with renewed feroc- 
ity some time later. 

In the meantime the reconquest proceeded apace. James 1 
of Aragon (1213-76) took the Balearic Islands (1229-35) an d 
Valencia (1238). Ferdinand in of Castile (1217-52) captured 
*C6rdoba (1236), *Murcia (1243), and ^Seville (1248). Al- 
fonso x (1252-84) extended the conquest so far that only the 
kingdom of Granada remained in Muslim hands. All these 
kings had employed Jews in their armies and all had requested 
them to settle in towns evacuated by Muslims. Everywhere 
the Jews who had lived under Muslim rule were permitted to 
remain in their old quarter, were preferred to Muslims, and 
their previous privileges were confirmed. Their ownership of 
land expanded, for the kings frequently granted them lands 
and other possessions in order to attract them to settle. More 
Jewish shops opened in the towns, arousing the opposition 
of the municipalities, who wished to limit their commerce. 
Around the middle of the 13 th century King *Alfonso x pre- 
pared a code of laws covering all the inhabitants of his king- 
dom. This code, known as Las Siete Partidas> was formulated 
around 1263, but was only very gradually applied, especially 
from 1348. It defined with great precision the principles of 
royal policy toward the Jews and in this respect was extremely 
influential. The Jews were accorded complete religious liberty, 
on condition that they did not attack the Christian faith; mea- 
sures were taken to prevent the possibility of *blood libels; and 
they were forbidden to leave their homes during Easter. They 
were also prohibited from holding positions of authority over 
Christians. The number and size of synagogues were strictly 
limited, but it was forbidden to disturb the Jews on the Sab- 
bath, even for legal reasons. No force was to be used to induce 
them to adopt Christianity, while those who had converted 
were not to be taunted with insults about their origins, nor to 
lose their rights of succession to the property of their former 
coreligionists. By contrast, any Christian who converted to 
Judaism was to be put to death and his property declared for- 
feit. Jews and Christians were not to occupy the same house, 
and Jews could not own Christian slaves. They were also to 
carry a special badge which identified them as Jews. Thus the 
policy of the Church triumphed. The aljamas y turned more 
in on themselves, reinforced their autonomy. Under the di- 
rection of their *muqaddamin (or *adelantados) they estab- 
lished their own courts of law, but maintained the right of ap- 
peal before the royal court. At this period the king appointed 
a functionary, known as the rab de la corte y to supervise the 
affairs of the Jewish communities. It appears that his nomina- 
tion by the king did not give rise to any special problems, for 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


he generally did not interfere with the internal organization 
of the communities. 

Jewish courtiers, largely in Castile, rose to the highest po- 
sitions. Therefore their fall was usually attended by the most 
brutal consequences for the communities to which they be- 
longed, and thus the latter could not consider them as shtad- 
lanim, but rather as high functionaries and financiers whose 
influence depended more on their talents than on any repre- 
sentative status. The Castilian monarchs seem to have been 
well satisfied by their services. As Jews they could not aim for 
political power nor could they ally themselves with the nobil- 
ity or the clergy. Thus there developed in the Christian lands 
the custom, long widespread in the Orient, of employing Jews 
in the highest administrative and financial positions. The no- 
bles imitated the kings in employing Jewish experts. Some of 
these Jewish courtiers, while still holding to the Jewish faith, 
were influenced by the Christian environment; wishing to live 
as nobles, they competed for royal favor. Veritable dynasties 
of courtiers emerged: the powerful families wielded consid- 
erable importance in their communities. Don Solomon *Ibn 
Zadok of Toledo, known as Don (Julema, was ambassador and 
almoxarife major. His son and successor, Don Isaac ibn Zadok, 
known as Don Qag de la Maleha, played an important role 
in reestablishing the finances of Alfonso x, who granted him 
and his associates authority to farm taxes owing on the pre- 
vious 20 years in return for payment of the enormous sum of 
80,000 gold maravedis for the years 1276 and 1277. This kind 
of contract could be very remunerative although the king fre- 
quently went back on his word. It sometimes happened that, 
as in the case of Don Qag, a Jewish courtier fell from royal fa- 
vor and, as a result, lost his life. The very financial success of 
the courtiers tempted the kings to impose enormous taxes on 
the Jewish communities, which were impoverished by their 
efforts to pay them. The Church, the Cortes, and the nobil- 
ity frequently cast a jaundiced eye on the rise of the Jewish 
courtiers, who competed with them for royal favor and gave 
too powerful a hand to the strengthening of the monarchy. 
Thus they frequently put pressure on the king to dislodge his 
Jewish courtiers. In spite of all efforts, however, the institu- 
tion of the Jewish courtier increased in influence in Castile, 
rather than the contrary. 

In Aragon Jewish courtiers were to be found at the court 
of James 1, who used them as interpreters in his survey of the 
Arab lands he had reconquered. The king also invited the Jews 
to settle in his newly acquired lands; they were to receive their 
share of the conquered territory on the sole condition that 
they settled on it. There too they were preferred to Muslims, 
for the problem of resettling the former Arab lands was ever 
present. Thus Jews from the north of Aragon spread gradu- 
ally southward, establishing new communities. By the edict 
of Valencia, March 6, 1239, the king confirmed the authority 
of the bet din in suits between Jews, except in cases of murder. 
He also recognized the need for witnesses of each religion in 
cases involving Christians and Jews. The validity of the oath 
more judaico was reaffirmed. Any Jew who was arrested had 

to be freed between midday on Friday and Monday morning. 
The king took the Jews and their property under his protection 
and forbade anyone to harass them except for a debt or crime 
which could be firmly established. This charter often served as 
the model for similar charters in towns throughout Aragon. 
James 1 also undertook to protect the Jews of newly conquered 
Majorca. As these measures proved insufficient to populate the 
new communities, on June 11, 1247, James promised safe con- 
duct and citizenship to any Jew coming by land or sea to settle 
in Majorca, Catalonia, or Valencia. As far as the internal life of 
the communities was concerned, he confirmed and extended 
their autonomy. By the privilege granted to the community of 
*Calatayud on April 22, 1229, he authorized the community to 
appoint a rabbi and four directors (adenanti) to control their 
affairs, and to dismiss these officials if they deemed it neces- 
sary. They were also authorized to arrest and even sentence 
to death any malefactors in their midst. The community did 
not have to account for any death sentences it passed but had 
to pay the king 1,000 solidos for every one of these. The four 
adenanti directing the community could, with the agreement 
of the aljama, pronounce excommunication. Thus the elected 
heads of the community exercised considerable power, espe- 
cially the authority to impose the death sentence, which in 
fact was only pronounced against informers. The king rarely 
attempted to interfere with this autonomy, leaving the com- 
munities to direct their own affairs. 

Beginning of the Christian Reaction 

However, early in the 13 th century, a Christian reaction made 
itself felt, under the influence of ^Raymond de Penaforte, Do- 
minican confessor to the king. From Barcelona he attempted 
to limit the influence of the Jews by fixing the interest rate on 
moneylending at 20%, by limiting the effectiveness of the Jew- 
ish oath, and restating the prohibition on Jews holding pub- 
lic office or employing Christian servants (Dec. 22, 1228). The 
Council of Tarragona (1235) restated these clauses and forbade 
Muslims to convert to Judaism or vice versa. The Cortes in- 
creased their attempts to suppress Jewish moneylending. 

Thus the climate had changed. Following the exam- 
ple of France, the kingdom of Aragon initiated a large-scale 
campaign to convert the Jews through exposing the "Jewish 
error." From 1250 the first blood libel was launched in Sara- 
gossa. Soon the example of Louis ix found Spanish imitators: 
James 1 found himself obliged to cancel debts to Jews (1259). 
Soon after, an apostate Jew carried over to Spain the work of 
Nicholas *Donin of France, provoking a disputation between 
Pablo *Christiani and the most famous rabbi of the day, *Nah- 
manides. Held before the king, the bishops, and Raymond 
de Penaforte, the disputation took place in Barcelona on July 
20, 27, 30, and 31, 1263 (see ^Barcelona, Disputation of). Cen- 
tral to the disputation were the problem of the advent of the 
Messiah and the truth of Christianity; probably for the last 
time in the Middle Ages, the Jewish representative secured 
permission to speak with complete freedom. After a some- 
what brusque disputation, each side claimed the victory. This 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



constituted no check to Christian missionary efforts; forced 
conversion remained prohibited but the Jews were compelled 
to attend conversionist sermons and to censor all references 
to Jesus or Mary in their literature. Nahmanides, brought to 
trial because of his frankness, was acquitted (1265), but he 
had to leave Spain and in 1267 settled in Jerusalem. By his 
bull Turbato corde y proclaimed at this time, Pope Clement iv 
gave the Inquisition virtual freedom to interfere in Jewish af- 
fairs by allowing the inquisitors to pursue converted Jews who 
had reverted to their old religion, Christians who converted 
to Judaism, and Jews accused of exercising undue influence 
over Christians and their converted brethren. It was becom- 
ing apparent that the Jews had outlived their usefulness as 
colonizers, except in southern Aragon. The old hostility to- 
ward Judaism reappeared, but for the time being was content 
with efforts to convince the Jews of the truth of Christianity. 
At this period Raymond *Martini, one of the opponents of 
Nahmanides, published his Pugio Fidei, a work which served 
as the basis for anti-Jewish campaigns for many years. But 
the economic usefulness of the Jews was still considerable: in 
1294 revenue from the Jews amounted to 22% of the total rev- 
enue in Castile. In spite of mounting hostility on the part of 
the burghers, the state was very reluctant to part with such a 
valuable source of income. 

The very existence of the Jewish communities posed 
problems for the burgher class. The aljama was a neighbor 
of the Christian municipality but was free from its authority 
because of its special relationship with the king. The juderia 
thus often seemed to be a town within a town. The aljama it- 
self in this period reinforced its authority and closed its ranks, 
limiting the influence of the courtiers, who were increasingly 
becoming a dominant class with no real share in the spiritual 
life of the people. The different communities in Aragon had 
developed on parallel lines without any centralized organiza- 
tion. At times their leaders met to discuss the apportionment 
of taxes, but this had never led to the development of a na- 
tional organization. Within the communities the struggle con- 
tinued between the strong families who wielded power and the 
masses. In general the oligarchy succeeded in dominating the 
communal council with the assistance of the dayyanim who, 
since they were not always scholars, had to consult the rabbini- 
cal authorities before passing judgment according to Jewish 
law. Around the end of the 13 th century the dayyanim began 
to be elected annually, the first step toward greater control by 
the masses. Soon after, these masses managed to secure a rota- 
tion of the members of the council, but nevertheless these were 
nearly always chosen from among the powerful families. 

Such a climate of social tension, aggravated by the anxi- 
ety caused by the insecure state of the Jews, proved fruitful for 
the reception of kabbalistic teachings, transplanted at the be- 
ginning of the 13 th century from Provence to Gerona. Mainly 
due to the works of Nahmanides, the kabbalistic movement 
developed widely (see *Kabbalah). Between 1280 and 1290 the 
Zohar appeared and was enthusiastically received. Philosophy 
appeared to be in retreat before this new trend. At this very 

moment the Maimonidean controversy broke out once more, 
beginning in Provence where the study of philosophy had re- 
ceived a new impetus through the translations of works from 
Arabic by the Ibn *Tibbon and *Kimhi families. The quar- 
rel reached such dimensions that the most celebrated rabbi 
of the day, Solomon b. Abraham *Adret, rabbi of Barcelona, 
was obliged to intervene. A double herem was proclaimed on 
those who studied Greek philosophy before the age of 25 and 
on those who were too prone to explain the biblical stories al- 
legorically Exceptions were made on works of medicine, as- 
tronomy, and the works of Maimonides. This ban was prob- 
ably another sign of the decline of the Jewish community of 
Aragon and its increasing tendency to withdraw into itself. 
During the same period Jewish courtiers lost their influence 
and left the political arena. 

In Castile, on the other hand, Jewish courtiers continued 
to play an important role in spite of the efforts of other court- 
iers to be rid of them and of the Church to condemn them as 
usurers. Apostates were at the fore in this struggle, especially 
*Abner of Burgos who, becoming a Christian in 1321 and, tak- 
ing the name Alfonso of Valladolid, tried to remain in close 
contact with the Jewish community, the better to influence 
it. Around the same period, Gonzalo ^Martinez de Oviedo, 
majordomo to the king, obtained the temporary dismissal of 
Jewish courtiers and planned the eventual expulsion of all 
the Jews of the kingdom. Soon himself accused of treason, he 
was put to death (1340) and his plan fell into abeyance. At the 
beginning of the 14 th century *Asher b. Jehiel became rabbi of 
Toledo, the principal community in the kingdom, holding this 
office from 1305 to 1327. After the imprisonment of his master, 
*Meir b. Baruch of Rothenburg, he had been the leading rab- 
binic authority in Germany, a country he fled from in 1303. 
Practically as soon as he arrived in Spain he was involved in 
the philosophic controversy and signed the ban proclaimed 
by Solomon b. Abraham Adret. On the latter s death he be- 
came the leading rabbinic scholar in Spain, where he dis- 
seminated the methods of the tosafists and the ideals of the 
*Hasidei Ashkenaz. The attitude of the Catholic monarchy to- 
ward the Jews continued to vacillate. Alfonso xi resolved to 
root out Jewish usury but to permit the Jews to remain (1348). 
The *Black Death, which reached Spain at this period, did not 
give rise to persecutions like those which swept central Eu- 
rope. Alfonso's successor, Pedro the Cruel (1350-69) brought 
Jewish courtiers back into his employment and allowed Don 
Samuel b. Meir ha-Levi *Abulafia, his chief treasurer, to build 
a magnificent synagogue in Toledo in 1357 (it was later turned 
into a church and subsequently into a museum). Despite the 
fall of Don Samuel, who died in prison, other Jewish court- 
iers retained their positions and influence. During the civil 
war between Pedro and his bastard half-brother, Henry of 
Trastamara, the Jews sided with the king, who, therefore, was 
even called the king of the Jews. When Burgos was taken by 
the pretender (1366), the Jewish community was reduced to 
selling the synagogue appurtenances to pay its ransom. Some 
of its members were even sold into slavery. Henrys victory, 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


augmented by the capture of Toledo (in which many Jews fell 
victim), reduced the local community to destitution: the king 
had seized at least 1,000,000 gold maravedis. However, this 
did not prevent the king from appointing Don Joseph * Picho 
as tax farmer and other Jews from filling important positions. 
Incited by the Cortes, he imposed the Jewish badge and for- 
bade Jews to take Christian names, but he did not dismiss 
his Jewish courtiers. Meanwhile the condition of the Jews 
in the kingdom deteriorated. In 1380 the Cortes, as a result 
of the secret execution of Don Joseph Picho as an informer 
on the orders of the rabbinical tribunal, forbade the Jewish 
communities to exercise criminal jurisdiction and to impose 
the death penalty or banishment. In Castile the first part of 
the 14 th century was dominated by the personality of * Jacob 
b. Asher, third son of Asher b. Jehiel, who was dayyan in To- 
ledo. Around 1340 he published his Arba'ah Turim y a codifi- 
cation of the law combining the Spanish and the Ashkenazi 
traditions, which was widely distributed. His brother * Judah 
b. Asher succeeded his father in Toledo and became in effect 
the chief rabbi of Castile. 

The situation in Aragon was generally both less brilliant 
and less disquieting. There the influence of the Jews at court 
had practically disappeared with the dismissal of the Jewish 
courtiers. The Jews were tolerated and had the right to royal 
protection within the limits of Church doctrine on the matter. 
The taxes raised from the Jews were an important source of 
revenue and so they were allowed to pursue their commercial 
ventures and direct their own internal affairs. Under the reign 
of James 11 (1291-1327) the Inquisition had begun to show an 
interest in the Jews but the king declared that their presence 
was an affair of state and not a religious concern, an attitude 
characteristic of the monarchy for many years. James gave no 
assistance to the efforts to convert the Jews. When the *Pas- 
toureaux arrived in Aragon, the king resisted them vigorously 
in his efforts to spare the Jews from this menace. During his 
rule (1306) Jews expelled from France were permitted to settle 
in Spain. Unlike in Castile, in Aragon the Black Death gave 
rise to anti- Jewish excesses. In Saragossa only 50 Jews survived 
and in Barcelona and other Catalonian cities the Jews were 
massacred. So shattered were the communities by these riots 
that their leaders convened in Barcelona in 1354 to decide on 
common measures to reestablish themselves. They resolved to 
establish a central body to appeal to the papal curia to defend 
them against allegations of spreading the plague and to secure 
for them some alleviation in their situation. A delegation sent 
to Pope Clement vi in Avignon succeeded in having a bull 
promulgated which condemned such accusations. 

It would seem that the attempt to create a central orga- 
nization did not succeed, but the Aragon communities had 
nevertheless to reorganize. From 1327 the Barcelona commu- 
nity succeeded in abolishing all communal offices which were 
acquired by royal favor. Authority and power within the com- 
munity were henceforth vested in the Council of 30, elected by 
the community notables. The 30 were trustworthy men, judges 
or administrators of charities, who were empowered to issue 

takkanot and apportion taxes. They were elected for three -year 
terms and could serve more than one term; however, close rel- 
atives could not sit on the same council. Although in effect the 
aristocracy remained in power, they were no longer all-power- 
ful. The presence in Barcelona of eminent masters of the law 
counterbalanced the ambition of the powerful families. Nis- 
sim b. Reuben *Gerondi (d. c. 1375), av bet din in Barcelona, 
exercised great influence over all Spanish Jewry, as attested 
by his many responsa (the majority of which are unfortu- 
nately no longer extant). Hasdai *Crescas, born in Barcelona 
around 1340, who seems to have been close to court circles, be- 
came the most venerated authority in Spanish Jewry. * Isaac b. 
Sheshet Perfet, also born in Barcelona (1326), rapidly became 
known as a leading rabbinic authority. A merchant by trade, he 
later served as rabbi in various communities. On April 2, 1386, 
Pedro iv approved a new constitution for the Barcelona com- 
munity which constituted slight progress toward democrati- 
zation. The community was divided into three classes, almost 
certainly according to their tax contribution. Each class was 
empowered to nominate a secretary and elect ten members 
of the council. With the secretaries, the 30 elected members 
made up the grand council of the community. Five represen- 
tatives of each class and the secretaries constituted the smaller 
council. The secretaries served for one year only and could 
only be renominated after two years had expired. One-third of 
the 30 members had to be renewed each year. The council had 
limited powers only, being unable to establish tax allocations 
without the approval of the 30. Tax assessors had to be chosen 
from among the three classes. The influence of the powerful 
families was thus curbed, extending only over the class of the 
community of which they were members. 

The smaller communities, of course, established a less 
complex system of administration. Councils were not ap- 
pointed there until the second half of the 14 th century. In many 
places the local oligarchy seems to have maintained its power. 
In Majorca, essentially a mercantile community, this oligarchy 
was composed of merchants who prevented any democrati- 
zation of the administration. The royal administration recog- 
nized the existence of judios francos, descendants of courtly 
Jewish families who paid no taxes to the community and took 
no part in communal life. They married among themselves 
and generally remained true to their faith. The communities 
were also concerned with the moral life of their members. An 
institution almost unique to Spain in the Middle Ages was the 
*berurei averah, notables who watched over the religious life 
of their communities. The latter also exercised authority over 
^informers, punishing them with loss of a limb or death, with 
the approval of the king. The death sentence was generally car- 
ried out immediately, which to some seemed dangerous or ar- 
bitrary. To avoid the possibility of abuse, in 1388 Hasdai Crecas 
was appointed judge over all informers in the kingdom. 

The Persecutions of 1391 

Soon the face of Spanish Jewry was brutally altered. In 1378 the 
archdeacon of Ecija, Ferrant ^Martinez, launched a campaign 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



of violent sermons against the Jews, demanding the destruc- 
tion of 23 local synagogues. On the death of the archbishop in 
1390, he became virtual ruler of the diocese, using this situa- 
tion to intensify his anti- Jewish campaign and declaring that 
even the monarchy would not oppose attacks on the Jews. Af- 
ter unsuccessful interventions by the communities, the death 
of King John 1 of Castile (1390) left the crown in the hands of a 
minor who did not attempt to check the redoubtable preacher. 
On the first of Tammuz 5151 (June 4, 1391) riots broke out in 
Seville. The gates of the juderia were set on fire and many 
died. Apostasy was common and Jewish women and children 
were even sold into slavery with the Muslims. Synagogues 
were converted into churches and the Jewish quarters filled 
with Christian settlers. Disorder spread to Andalusia, where 
Old and New Castile Jewish communities were decimated by 
murder and apostasy. In Toledo, on June 20, Judah, grandson 
of Asher b. Jehiel, refused to submit and was martyred. At- 
tacks were made in ^Madrid, * Cuenca, Burgos, and Cordoba, 
the monarchy making no efforts to protect the Jews. So many 
people had been involved in the riot that it proved impossible 
to arrest the leaders. In July violence broke out in Aragon; the 
Valencia community was destroyed on July 9 and more than 
250 Jews were massacred. Others, including Isaac b. Sheshet 
Perfet, managed to escape. The tardy measures taken by the 
royal authorities were useless. Many small communities were 
converted en masse. In the Balearic Islands the protection of 
the governor was to no avail: on July 10 more than 300 Jews 
were massacred. Others took refuge in the fortress, where 
pressure was put on them to compel them to convert. A few 
finally escaped to North Africa. In Barcelona more than 400 
Jews were killed on August 5. During the attack on the Jewish 
quarter of Gerona on August 10 the victims were numerous. 
The Jews of *Tortosa were forcibly converted. Practically all 
the Aragon communities were destroyed in bloody outbreaks 
when the poorer classes, trying to relieve their misery by burn- 
ing their debts to the Jews, seized Jewish goods. Yet the motive 
behind the attacks was primarily religious, for, once conver- 
sion was affected, they were brought to an end. 

Although he did not encourage the outbreaks, John 1 of 
Aragon did nothing to prevent or stop them, contenting him- 
self with intervening once the worst was over. Above all he 
was concerned to conserve royal resources and on Sept. 22, 
1391 ordered an enquiry into the whereabouts of the assets of 
the ruined communities and dead Jews, especially those who 
had left no heirs. All that could be found he impounded. At 
this point Hasdai Crescas became in effect the savior of the 
remnants of Aragonese Jewry, gathering together the funds 
necessary to persuade the king to come to their defense, ap- 
pealing to the pope, and offering assistance to his brethren. 
The assassins were barely punished, but when a fresh outbreak 
seemed imminent early in 1392 the king swiftly suppressed 
it. Subsequently he took various measures to assist Hasdai 
Crescas in his efforts to reorganize the communities and re- 
unite the dispersed members. Meanwhile, in Barcelona and 
Valencia, the burghers, freed from their rivals, seemed op- 

posed to the reconstitution of the shattered Jewish commu- 
nities. A small community was reestablished in Majorca. In 
the countryside the communities could reorganize more eas- 
ily; there the Jews were indispensable and less a target of the 
jealousy of the Christian burghers. 

The Conversos 

In this period the problem of Jews who had converted by force 
became acute. Illegal though forced conversion was, in the 
eyes of the Church a Converso was a true Christian and thus 
forbidden to return to Judaism. There were indeed a number 
of Jews who took their conversion to heart and, filled with 
the zeal of neophytes, reproached their former coreligionists 
for their "errors" and launched a campaign to bring them to 
the font. Chief among these was Solomon ha-Levi of Burgos 
who became *Pablo de Santa Maria in 1391 and later bishop 
of Burgos. In their desperate state, the Jews could hardly re- 
spond energetically. The Christian missionary spirit did not 
rest content with the successes achieved. The notorious friar 
Vicente *Ferrer preached in the towns of Castile in 1411-12. Al- 
though opposed to forced conversion, he was ready to compel 
Jews to listen to him and was unconcerned by the anti- Jewish 
violence which was consequent on his sermons. Following on 
his activity the government of Castile proclaimed on Jan. 2, 
1412, new regulations concerning Jews. Henceforth, in towns 
and in villages, they were to inhabit separate quarters and, to 
distinguish them from Christians, had to grow their hair and 
beards, and could no longer be addressed by the honorific, 
"Don." They were forbidden to take employment as tax farm- 
ers or fill any other public office, nor could their physicians 
treat Christians; lending on interest was also prohibited. All 
professions were closed to them and all commerce by which 
they might ameliorate their miserable existence forbidden. For 
a time even their internal autonomy and freedom of move- 
ment were in question. 

In Aragon the situation was more favorable. The com- 
munity of Saragossa, spared because of the presence of the 
king in the town, was able to play an important role in the re- 
constitution of the Aragonese communities. The action of the 
king gave a semblance of stability to the new Jewish groups. 
In 1399 the aljama of Saragossa, where Hasdai Crescas was 
rabbi, obtained a new statute from Queen Violante defining 
its power and organization. In June 1412 Ferdinand 1 became 
new king of Aragon, thanks to the assistance and support of 
Vicente Ferrer, who seized the opportunity to extend his ac- 
tivities against the Jews of Aragon. At that moment Joshua 
*Lorki, who had previously disputed with Pablo de Santa Ma- 
ria, decided to accept baptism under the name of Geronimo 
de Santa Fe. In August of the same year he sent a pamphlet 
to the antipope Benedict xin which served as the basis for 
the public disputation soon to be held in Tortosa. The pope 
invited the Aragonese communities to send representatives 
to a public disputation to be held in Tortosa on Jan. 15, 1413; 
it actually took place the following February (see *Tortosa, 
Disputation of). Probably the antipope wished to achieve a 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


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Map 2. Major Jewish and Converso communities in Christian Spain, 1474. From map by H. Beinart in Y.Baer, A History of the Jews in Christian Spain, 
Philadelphia, 1961. 

great religious success at the moment the split Church was 
attempting to reunite at the Council of Constance. The Jew- 
ish delegates presented themselves without great enthusiasm 
for the issue of the disputation was in no doubt and freedom 
of expression had been virtually refused. The leading Jewish 
delegates were *Zerahiah b. Isaac ha-Levi from Saragossa and 
the philosopher Joseph Albo; as was to be expected Christi- 
anity triumphed and the defeat of the Jews resulted in a wave 
of conversion. The rabbis were given no real opportunity to 
defend themselves. The major topics of the disputation were 
the messianic problem and the veracity of the Talmud, and 
the Jewish delegates, despairing of being truly heard, wished 
to end the disputation. Only Zerahiah b. Isaac ha-Levi and Jo- 
seph Albo defended Judaism against all attack but they failed 
to convince their colleagues that there was any point in reply- 
ing. The disputation finally ended in December 1414 and the 
Jewish delegates returned home. 

Acting on a bull promulgated by Benedict xin on May 
11, Ferdinand 1 ordered on July 23, 1415 the Jews to submit 
their copies of the Talmud so that all passages deemed anti- 
Christian might be censored. The Jews were also forbidden to 

read the *Toledot Yeshu. Any attack on the Church was pro- 
hibited. Jewish judges lost their authority over criminal cases, 
even those involving informers. They were also forbidden to 
extend their synagogues. Christians could no longer employ 
Jewish agents and the Jews were confined to a special quar- 
ter. Apostates could inherit from their Jewish parents. With 
this even heavier burden to bear, many Aragonese commu- 
nities were destroyed and conversions were numerous, espe- 
cially among the higher classes. Aragon Judaism was close to 
the abyss when Benedict xin was dismissed from the papacy 
(1416). On the death of Ferdinand in the same year they ac- 
quired a temporary respite. 

John 11, the new king of Castile (1406-54), and his con- 
temporary, Alfonso v of Aragon (1416-58), had little taste for 
the religious fervor of their predecessors. The new pope was 
similarly disinclined to reopen this particular battle. Almost 
all anti- Jewish measures were therefore abrogated (1419-22). 
Copies of the Talmud and synagogue buildings were restored 
to the Jews. In the meantime the Aragonese communities were 
greatly reduced; those of Valencia and Barcelona had disap- 
peared altogether. In Majorca, the Jews who remained were 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



dispersed by a blood libel in 1432. Only the rural settlements 
in the province of Aragon had escaped persecution. At the 
moment of the expulsion there was an estimated 6,000 Jew- 
ish families in Aragon, a meager percentage indeed of the 
country's total population. 

In Castile there were around 30,000 Jewish families, 
aside from innumerable Conversos, many of whom were in 
fact Jews. The large communities, Seville, Toledo, and Burgos, 
had lost their former influence as a result of the apostasy of 
many members of the ruling class. Henceforward the decisive 
weight in the Jewish life of the kingdom was maintained by the 
small rural communities whose numbers rarely exceeded 50 
families. The Jews were merchants, shopkeepers, or artisans, 
with a number of physicians. Some Jewish courtiers managed 
to retrieve their positions at court; Abraham *Benveniste de 
Soria was the treasurer of John 11, who also appointed him rab 
de la corte, chief rabbi of the kingdom. Abraham Benveniste 
used his position to undertake the reorganization of Castil- 
ian Jewry, convoking in 1432 a convention of representatives 
of Spanish communities in Valladolid to formulate and adopt 
new regulations. Their primary concern was to reorganize sys- 
tems of instruction, to be effected through a tax imposed on 
slaughter, on wine, on marriages, and on circumcisions. Any 
community of 15 families or more was to support one primary 
school teacher, and a community of 40 families must employ 
a rabbi. It was also laid down that a community consisting of 
ten families must maintain a place of prayer. Various measures 
were formulated to regulate the election of judges, who had to 
act in accord with the rabbi and notables. It was also possible 
to appeal to the rab de la corte. The former laws covering in- 
formers and slanderers were abrogated; in future the rab de la 
corte could, under certain conditions, sentence informers to 
death. Forced betrothals and marriages were strictly forbid- 
den. The rab de la corte also had to approve the appointment 
of any Jew to royal commissions. No Jew was allowed to ob- 
tain from the king exemption from payment of the communal 
taxes. Other decisions of the convention concerned sumptuary 
laws. Through this strict centralization the Castilian commu- 
nities found a solution to their problems. It is difficult to as- 
certain if the regulations of ^Valladolid were strictly applied, 
but they were an answer to the plight of communities greatly 
reduced in numbers and wealth. 

Yet the most pressing problem of Spanish Jewry no lon- 
ger concerned the communities, for the question of the Con- 
versos became progressively more acute. Showing their aware- 
ness and suspicion of the true nature of the mass conversions, 
Spanish Christians were in the habit of referring to "New" and 
"Old" Christians and effecting a veritable racial distinction be- 
tween them. It is undoubtedly true that many Conversos were 
Christians in name only, acquiring their new status through 
force alone, and many others had accepted baptism as a means 
of breaking down social, economic, and political barriers. In 
pursuit of these aims they had begun to marry into the great 
Toledan families. Yet they too became concerned when in 1449 
the rebels of Toledo issued a statute proclaiming that all New 

Christians - regardless of the fervor of their faith - were in- 
famous and unfit for all offices and benefices, public and pri- 
vate, in Toledo and all its dependencies. They could be neither 
witnesses nor public notaries. The king and pope condemned 
this proclamation, more through the desire to hasten the con- 
version of the Jews, which it rendered henceforth impossible, 
than through any sense of justice. Great harm was done by 
this proclamation, giving rise to a widespread policy of eradi- 
cation of real or suspected Jewish influence. Subsequently all 
religious and political agitation tended to this end. 

Steps Toward the Expulsion 

The marriage of Isabella, heiress to the throne of Castile, and 
Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Aragon, in 1469 had disas- 
trous consequences for Spanish Jewry. The two kingdoms 
were united in 1479. At first they took no heed of the Jewish 
communities as such, but they considered the Conversos a 
danger to national unity. The Catholic monarchs continued 
to employ Jewish functionaries - such as Don Abraham *Se- 
neor, chief rabbi of Castile and tax controller for the whole 
kingdom, and Isaac *Abrabanel, tax farmer for part of Cas- 
tile - and a number of Conversos as well. However, in 1476 
the right of criminal jurisdiction was taken from the Jewish 
communities. Soon the Catholic monarchs launched a direct 
attack on the Conversos, inviting the ^Inquisition to extend 
its activities to the kingdom, which their predecessors had al- 
ways refused to countenance, fearing the great power of this 
institution. On Sept. 27, 1480, two Dominicans were named 
inquisitors of the kingdom of Castile, and they began their 
activities in Seville in January 1481. Soon after, the first Con- 
versos condemned as Judaizers were sent to their deaths. Ac- 
cording to the chronicler Andres Bernaldez, more than 700 
Conversos were burned at the stake between 1481 and 1488 
and more than 5,000 reconciled to the Church after endur- 
ing various punishments. Inquisitors were appointed in 1481 
for Aragon, where the papal Inquisition, which had been in 
existence for some time, was considered insufficiently effec- 
tive. From 1483 the Jews were expelled from Andalusia, no 
doubt because it appeared to the inquisitors to be impossible 
to root out Jewish heresies from among the Conversos while 
practicing Jews still lived in their midst. 

Tomas de *Torquemada, confessor to the queen, was ap- 
pointed inquisitor-general in the autumn of 1483, providing 
the Inquisition with a new impetus and stricter organization. 
His activities stretched from town to town throughout the 
whole kingdom, bringing terror to Jewish communities ev- 
erywhere since they were inevitably linked with the Conver- 
sos. In less than 12 years the Inquisition condemned no less 
than 13,000 Conversos, men and women, who had continued 
to practice Judaism in secret. Yet these were no more than a 
fraction of the mass of Conversos. When the last bastion of 
Muslim power in Spain fell with the triumphant entry of the 
Catholic monarchs into Granada on Jan. 2, 1492, the urge to- 
ward complete religious unity of the kingdom was reinforced. 
The scandal of the Conversos who had remained true to Ju- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


daism had shown that segregation of the Jews and limita- 
tion of their rights did not suffice to suppress their influence. 
They must be totally removed from the face of Spain. Thus on 
March 31, 1492 the edict of expulsion was signed in Granada, 
although it was not promulgated until between April 29 and 
May 1. All Jews who were willing to accept Christianity were, 
of course, to be permitted to stay. 

In May the exodus began, the majority of the exiles - 
around 100,000 people - finding temporary refuge in Portu- 
gal (from where the Jews were expelled in 1496-97), the rest 
making for North Africa and Turkey, the only major coun- 
try which opened its doors to them. A few found provisional 
homes in the little kingdom of Navarre, where there was still 
an ancient Jewish community in existence, but there too 
their stay was brief, for the Jews were expelled in 1498. Con- 
siderable numbers of Spanish Jews, including the chief rabbi 
Abraham Seneor and most of the members of the influential 
families, preferred baptism to exile, adding their number to 
the thousands of Conversos who had chosen this road at an 
earlier date. On July 31 (the 7 th of Av), 1492, the last Jew left 
Spain. Yet Spanish (or Sephardi) Jewry had by no means dis- 
appeared, for almost everywhere the refugees reconstituted 
their communities, clinging to their former language and cul- 
ture. In most areas, especially in North Africa, they met with 
descendants of refugees from the 1391 persecutions. In Erez 
Israel they had been preceded by several groups of Spanish 
Jews who had gone there as a result of the various messianic 
movements which had shaken Spanish Jewry. Officially, no 
Jews were left in Spain. All that were left were the Conversos, 
a great number of whom remained true to their original faith. 
Some later fell victim to the Inquisition; others managed to 
flee from Spain and return openly to Judaism in the Sephardi 
communities of the Orient and Europe. 

See also *Anusim; *Conversos; *Marranos; *New Chris- 
tians; ^Portugal; *Sephardim. 

Cultural Life 

From the beginning, the cultural life of Spanish Jewry under 
the Christian reconquest followed on the style set under Mus- 
lim rule. Eastern influence lost none of its force even though a 
frontier henceforward separated the communities of the north 
from those of the south. In fact, the contrary was the case, 
since the Jews of Christian Spain often appeared to be indis- 
pensable agents in the diffusion of the Eastern cultural tradi- 
tion. Consequently, many of them were translators of Arabic; 
some, like the *Kimhis and the Ibn *Tibbons, even carried 
their work as translators to the north, to Provence. In Chris- 
tian Spain the Jews continued to study the sciences, medicine 
in particular, and the Christian kings employed numbers of 
Jewish physicians. They were also well versed in astronomy 
and shortly before the expulsion Abraham * Zacuto prepared 
the astronomical tables that Christopher Columbus used on 
his voyage. The Jewish nobility" had frequently received the 
same education as their Christian counterparts, reaching a 
cultural integration rarely equaled in Jewish history. Of course 

this process only affected the families of Jewish courtiers, but 
this type of assimilation goes a long way toward explaining 
both the phenomena of Marranism - entailing the need to 
lead a double life - and the ability to abandon the Jewish her- 
itage without regret and join the Christian fold. Yet the ma- 
jority of people still looked to their traditional Jewish cultural 
heritage, which remained central to their lives. The relation 
of the journey of ^Benjamin of Tudela to the communities of 
Europe and Asia, and the work of the historian Abraham *Ibn 
Daud in his account of the continuity of Jewish tradition are 
well worthy of mention. The main stress, however, lay on the 
study of the Hebrew language and of the Bible and Talmud, 
and on the development of a style of Hebrew poetry which 
took the profane as well as the sacred for its subject matter. 
In all fields there was no real break with the Judeo-Arab mi- 
lieu. For many years the Babylonian academies continued to 
be a major influence, but rabbinical scholarship in Spanish 
Jewry came to maturity in the 11 th century with the work of 
Isaac b. Jacob ha-Kohen *Alfasi. The latter, assisted by his pu- 
pils, especially Joseph b. Meir ha-Levi *Ibn Migash, created 
a Spanish Jewish talmudic academy which proceeded to de- 
velop its own methods. The theories of the grammarians in 
Muslim Spain were already known in the north and were ac- 
cepted there. Poets flourished in the retinue of Jews who were 
wealthy or well placed at court. Poetry often remained a pro- 
fession. Along with many of his contemporaries, * Judah Ha- 
levi left Muslim Spain for the Christian part of the country 
without finding success there. His poems were torn between 
the two worlds and Judah Halevi finally left for the Holy Land. 
Along with Judah Halevi and Moses *Ibn Ezra, Solomon ibn 
* Gabirol brought Hebrew poetry to a peak of perfection. Their 
religious poems, the main body of their work, permanently 
enriched the liturgy. At the same time they gave a new dimen- 
sion to Hebrew poetry by extending it beyond its liturgical 
framework to cover every variety of a benevolent patron. The 
interest in poetry also gave rise to liturgical and biblical stud- 
ies; biblical Hebrew once more predominated over rabbini- 
cal Hebrew. Following in the path of Menahem b. Saruk and 
*Dunash b. Labrat were such grammarians as Judah b. David 
*Hayyuj, Jonah *Ibn Janah, Moses ha-Kohen ibn *Gikatilla, 
and above all Abraham *Ibn Ezra, who produced their gram- 
matical treatises in Hebrew and so enabled the Jewish gram- 
marians of France and Germany to become aware of and adopt 
the theories of their Spanish counterparts. The same writers 
often produced biblical commentaries: Joseph b. Isaac *Ibn 
Abitur on Psalms, Moses ha-Kohen ibn Gikatilla on Isaiah, the 
Latter Prophets, Psalms, and Job, and Abraham ibn Ezra on 
the entire Bible (although some portions of his commentary 
are no longer extant). In this period the *maqdma - an Ara- 
bic verse form - made its debut in Jewish literature with the 
Tahkemoni of Judah *A1-Harizi. Yet the golden age of Hebrew 
poetry in Spain was already drawing to a close. 

During the 11 th century talmudic studies took root in 
Spain with the arrival of Isaac b. Jacob *Alfasi and continued 
to be greatly influenced by his work. With the aim of summing 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



up the discussions of the sages and pointing out the correct 
halakhah, he prepared a resume of the Talmud. In this work, 
he stressed practical observance, an attitude which was char- 
acteristic of the great Spanish talmudists. His main pupil, Jo- 
seph b. Meir ha-Levi ibn Migash, followed in his footsteps and, 
like his teacher, wrote a number of responsa clarifying points 
of the law. The greatest stimulus to talmudic studies was the 
work of Maimonides, who spent his formative years in Spain 
and can be considered a Spanish scholar. He, too, produced 
works of * codification of the law, the Mishneh Torah and Sefer 
ha-Mitzvot, and wrote numerous responsa. Like other Spanish 
rabbis, he did not hesitate to bring out his works in Arabic so 
that they could be understood by all. This bilinguality in He- 
brew and Arabic was a mark of the first era of Spanish Jewry. 
Another equally important characteristic was its enthusiasm 
for philosophical debates. Spanish Jewry's integration into 
the contemporary Arab culture obliged it to face the same 
problems, though generally with an avowedly polemic in- 
tent. Writers were largely concerned with demonstrating that 
revelation and philosophy were not necessarily contradictory 
and that in any case Judaism represented the superior truth. 
Although Ibn Gabirols philosophical work Fons Vitae has no 
specifically Jewish character, Judah Halevi devoted himself to 
a vigorous apology for Judaism. *Bahya ibn Paquda, a moral- 
ist, attempted to show the superiority of ethical conduct over 
the ceremonial law, which becomes falsified if the "duties of 
the heart" are neglected. However, the greatest representa- 
tive of the philosophic trend was Maimonides, who followed 
it to formulate his classic definition of the dogmas of Juda- 
ism. Nevertheless, from the beginning of the 13 th century the 
supremacy of philosophy was challenged in the controversy 
over Maimonides' works (see *Maimonidean Controversy), 
especially in the north of Spain, which had then reverted to 
Christian rule. The change in attitude was influenced by disil- 
lusionment arising from the changed conditions of Jewish life, 
by the renewed interest in talmudic studies due to the work of 
the Franco-German tosafists, and by the new trends in Jewish 
mysticism which first appeared in Provence before reaching 
Spain. At the beginning of the 14 th century the Franco-German 
talmudic tradition came face to face with the Spanish through 
the arrival of *Asher b. Jehiel, resulting in the preservation of 
unity in the field of Jewish law. Warmly received by the great- 
est Spanish scholar of the day, Solomon b. Abraham *Adret, 
Asher b. Jehiel cooperated with him in restoring peace: the 
study of philosophy was permitted, but under clearly defined 
conditions. Time, too, had done its work and the controversy 
was soon stilled. In the meantime the Kabbalah became in- 
creasingly important, especially in the group at Gerona. The 
celebrated talmudist Nahmanides became one of its leading 
advocates. The appearance of the *Zohar, the largest part of 
which was produced by *Moses b. Shem Tov de Leon between 
1280 and 1286, gave a powerful impulse to the development 
of the kabbalistic trend which became predominant in Spain. 
Talmudic studies too gained a new impetus through the com- 
mentaries, novellae, and responsa of Nahmanides, Solomon 

b. Abraham Adret, Asher b. Jehiel, and Nissim b. Reuben 
* Gerondi. * Jacob b. Asher, son of Asher b. Jehiel, produced 
his codification of the law, the Arba'ah Turim y which remains 
to this day the archetype of the rabbinic code and was one of 
the bases of the Shulhan Arukh. Another code, Sefer Abudar- 
ham> was compiled by David b. Joseph *Abudarham of Seville. 
Following in the same path, *Menahem b. Aaron ibn Zerah of 
Navarre composed his Zeidah la-Derekh. *Yom Tov b. Abra- 
ham Ishbili was especially noted for his many novellae; Isaac b. 
Sheshet Perfet, who had to leave Spain in 1391, wrote many re- 
sponsa. Biblical commentaries (frequently showing kabbalistic 
influences) also came to the fore once more with the works of 
Nahmanides, Bahya b. Asher, and Jacob b. Asher, although the 
latter resolutely avoided kabbalistic speculation. Nevertheless 
the persecutions had grave consequences for scholarship too. 
The Judeo-Arab heritage began to disappear. Those conditions 
which had drawn Spanish Jews toward the study of science, 
medicine, and astrology in particular ceased to exist. This de- 
cay became more marked in the 15 th century. Apart from the 
philosophic works of Hasdai Crescas and Joseph Albo, whose 
Sefer ha-Ikkarim was a new attempt to define the dogmas of 
Judaism, the creative period had passed. The messianic up- 
heaval, exacerbated by persecution, only prolonged it slightly; 
the spirit of this period is best expressed in the works of Isaac 
b. Judah Abrabanel, who in 1492 preferred exile to apostasy. 
Probably stimulated by fear for the future, interest in kabbal- 
istic speculation continued unabated. The expulsion itself did 
not mark a final end of the development of this specific type 
of culture. Abraham Zacuto finished his rabbinical history on 
the way to exile. The intellectual activity of Spanish Jewry was 
transferred to Eastern and European centers. Even the use of 
the Spanish language continued unchanged (see *Ladino; *Se- 
phardim). Such was the vitality of this outlook that it remained 
seminal in Jewish life for many centuries 

[Simon R. Schwarzfuchs] 

Modern Period 

Though the edict of expulsion of 1492 was not formally re- 
pealed until December 1968 and was consequently, on the 
Spanish statute book until that date, Jews had been allowed to 
live in Spain as individuals, though not as an organized com- 
munity, from the late 19 th century. The Republican Constitu- 
tion of 1868 introduced for the first time in modern Spain the 
principle of religious tolerance. This was maintained in sub- 
sequent legislation and transformed into the more enlight- 
ened formula of religious freedom by the amendment to the 
Fuero de los Espanoles, adopted by the referendum of Decem- 
ber 1966. The new statute guaranteed the right of non-Catho- 
lics to maintain their organized institutions, public worship, 
and religious education. Jews, as such, were not specifically 
mentioned in any legal enactment but, as non-Catholics, they 
enjoyed equal rights with their Catholic fellow citizens. The 
only instance of "Jewish legislation" is a decree of December 
1924 which granted to Sephardi Jews living abroad the right to 
claim Spanish nationality and settle in Spain, if they wished. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


This decree, although initially referring only to the Sephardi 
groups of ^Salonika and * Alexandria, afforded the legal ba- 
sis for extending the protection of the Spanish authorities to 
many Jews in Nazi-occupied countries during World War n. 

[Jeonathan Prato] 

Holocaust Period 

From 1933 until the Civil War, Spain became a haven for about 
3,000 Jewish refugees. The Civil War caused most of them to 
leave, and after the nationalist victory, when all non- Catho- 
lic communities had to close their institutions, Jewish public 
and religious life was destroyed. After the fall of France, Spain 
served for tens of thousands of refugees as a landbridge to the 
high seas, which were dominated by the Allies. By the sum- 
mer of 1942, over 20,000 Jewish refugees had passed through 
Spain, 10,500 of whom were assisted by the *hicem office in 
Lisbon. Less than 1,000 were unable to continue the journey, 
however, and were imprisoned with other refugees in jails or 
in the *Miranda de Ebro concentration camp. Some refugees 
who crossed the border illegally were sent back to France. In 
the summer of 1942, when the "Final Solution" was initiated 
by Germany, a new wave of Jewish refugees reached Spain, and 
their numbers grew after the occupation of southern France. 
Initially there was no change in Spain's policy: refugees were 
accepted and arrested, and some were deported. In Decem- 
ber 1942, however, when the Allies wanted French deserters to 
cross the Spanish border, Spain had to agree to stop deporting 
refugees and allow them to leave for North Africa and Portu- 
gal. In April 1943, Spain permitted the establishment in Ma- 
drid of the Representation of American Relief Organizations, 
most of whose budget came from the American Jewish * Joint 
Distribution Committee (ajdc). About 5,600 Jews survived 
by fleeing to Spain during the second half of the war. In 1943, 
Spain was faced with an additional rescue problem. Four thou- 
sand Jews - of whom 3,000 were in France and the rest in the 
Balkans as well as a number of Jews from Spanish Morocco 
who were living in French Morocco, possessed partial or full 
Spanish citizenship. Most of the Spanish consuls protected 
these Jews, even when they were instructed to act only when 
Spanish sovereignty was affected. On Jan. 28, 1943, *Eichmann 
and his associates presented Spain with the alternative of ei- 
ther recalling these Jewish subjects within a specified time or 
abandoning them to slaughter. On March 18, 1943 Spain de- 
cided that only those who could prove their Spanish citizen- 
ship would be permitted to enter the country. They would have 
to live in specified towns and would remain in Spain until they 
could be removed elsewhere. As long as there was one group 
of these "repatriates" in Spain, the next group could not en- 
ter the country. This policy was strictly adhered to. Since the 
Allies delayed for a year and a quarter the establishment of a 
refugee center in North Africa, which they had agreed upon 
at the ^Bermuda Conference, the ajdc could not remove the 
"expatriation" by Spanish consuls without having recourse 
to repatriation; the rest died or saved themselves. In the last 
stages of the Holocaust, Spain joined the rescue operation in 

Hungary by giving protection certificates to 2,750 Jews who 

were not Spanish citizens. 

[Haim Avni] 

After World War 11 

The improving economic, social, and general conditions pre- 
vailing in Spain after World War 11 attracted an increasing 
number of Jews. According to an unofficial estimate some 
8,000 Jews lived in Spain in 1968, distributed as follows: 3,000 
in Barcelona, 2,500 in Madrid, 1,400 in Melilla, 600 in Ceuta, 
300 in Malaga, and 50 in Seville. Individual Jews were scat- 
tered in many other cities. Until 1945 the bulk of the commu- 
nity was constituted of families originating from East Medi- 
terranean, Balkan, and East and Central European countries. 
Since then a considerable number of Jews from former Span- 
ish and French Morocco settled in the Peninsula: about 85% 
were of Sephardi origin. Until 1967 a Jewish community could 
not obtain legal recognition as a religious body (the commu- 
nity of Madrid was registered as a corporation under the law of 
private associations). Nevertheless they maintained an almost 
complete range of religious activities and services. In Barce- 
lona a community center housed the synagogue, a rabbinical 
office, and a cultural center. In Madrid a new synagogue was 
officially inaugurated in December 1968 in the presence of 
government and ecclesiastical authorities. To mark the im- 
portance of the event, the Spanish government issued a for- 
mal repeal of the edict of expulsion. An increasing effort was 
made to provide Jewish education to the new generation. In 
Madrid a primary school had some 80 children in 1968. He- 
brew lessons were given to pupils attending private schools. 
Two summer camps in Madrid and Barcelona were attended 
by 200 youngsters. A Maccabi movement, functioning in Ma- 
drid and Barcelona, afforded a framework for an increasing 
number of young people. The Council of Jewish Communities 
of Spain, established in 1963 for the coordination and study of 
common activities and problems, issued a monthly bulletin 
in Spanish, Ha-Kesher (1963- ), dealing with local and gen- 
eral Jewish affairs. 

In the 1960s, Spain saw a revival of studies of general and 
Hispanic Jewish culture. The universities of Madrid, Barce- 
lona, and Granada had chairs of Hebrew language, Jewish his- 
tory, and Jewish literature. In 1940 the Arias Montano Institute 
of Jewish and Near Eastern Studies was established in Madrid 
under the guidance of distinguished Hebrew scholars; its quar- 
terly publication Sefarad acquired a reputation in the field of 
Sephardi culture. The Spanish Council of Scientific Research, 
in conjunction with the World Sephardi Federation, organized 
an Institute of Sephardi Studies in Madrid for the study of all 
aspects of Sephardi culture since the expulsion, throughout 
the world. In 1964 a Sephardi Center was created in Toledo 
by a decree of the head of state: its board included the presi- 
dent of the Jewish Community of Madrid and a professor of 
Jewish history of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, both 
ex officio, a representative of the World Sephardi Federation, 
and three outstanding personalities of the Sephardi world. The 
new climate created in the Catholic world as a result of Vati- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



can Council n made possible the organization of the Amistad 
Judeo- Christiana with the approval of the Church hierarchy 
in Madrid and Barcelona. This organization revised school 
textbooks, eliminating from them passages offensive to the 
Jewish people and religion. 

In the post-Franco era (from 1975) the position of the 
Jews in Spain improved to a considerable extent, mostly as 
a result of the radical social changes which took place in the 
country. During the 1970s the number of Jews in Spain grew 
to about 12,000, the majority (90%) of Moroccan, Algerian 
and Tunisian origin, and the remainder from Eastern Europe, 
France, Turkey and the Balkan countries. 

At the end of 1978 a major change in the constitution of 
Spain took place when, following a national referendum, the 
Catholic Church was disestablished as the state religion, as a 
result of which Jews were given equality with all the other re- 
ligious denominations, such as the Protestant Church. Orga- 
nized communities existed in Madrid, Barcelona, and Malaga. 
Madrid's impressive new synagogue, built in 1968, served as 
a center for social activities. Both Madrid and Barcelona had 
rabbis. Educational and social activities in Barcelona took 
place in the spacious communal hall attached to the syna- 
gogue and courses for youth were conducted by emissaries 
from Israel. There was no rabbi in Malaga, with communal 
affairs in the hands of a lay committee. Kosher meat was im- 
ported from Morocco. 

In 1992, in a symbolic gesture, King Juan Carlos re- 
pealed the 1492 expulsion order. The two major Jewish cen- 
ters remained Madrid (with about 3,000 Jews in the early 21 st 
century) and Barcelona (also with about 3,000), followed by 
Malaga and with smaller communities in Alicante, Benidorm, 
Cadiz, Granada, Marbella, Majorca, Torremolinos, and Valen- 
cia. The total Jewish population in the early 21 st century was 
around 12,000. The majority of Jews were Sephardi. In Span- 
ish North Africa there were communities in Ceuta and Melila. 
The 1970s and 1980s saw immigration from Latin America. 
The Latin Americans took the initiative in forming groups that 
brought Jews together for cultural and intellectual events. The 
communities were united in the Federacion de Comunidades 
Israelitas de Espana. Jewish day schools operated in Barcelona, 
Madrid, and Malaga. 

In the absence of laws restricting hate propagation or Ho- 
locaust denial, Spain served as a publishing and distribution 
center for neo-Nazis and other extreme rightists. 

relations with Israel. Though no diplomatic relations 
existed between Spain and Israel until 1986, Spain neverthe- 
less maintained a Consulate General in Jerusalem, which had 
existed prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. There 
was no parallel Israel representation, however, in Spain. In the 
Israel- Arab conflict, Spain adopted a markedly pro- Arab line, 
seeing itself as a bridge between Western Europe and the Arab 
world. However, sympathy for Israel was not negligible. Trade, 
tourist, and shipping relations between Israel and Spain de- 
veloped substantially. Exports from Israel to Spain increased 

from $500,000 in i960 to $616 million in 2004, imports from 
$100,000 to $652 million. In 2004, 21,400 Spanish tourists ar- 
rived in Israel, up from 7,800 in 1980. 

[Jeonathan Prato] 

bibliography: general: add. bibliography: C. 

Sancez-Albornoz, Spain, a Historical Enigma, 2 vols. (1975), 2:757-873; 
L. Suarez Fernandez, Judios espanoles en la edad media (1980) (French 
trans. Les Juifs espagnols au Moyen Age (1983)); idem, Los Reyes 
Catolicos: la expansion de lafe (1990), 75-120; J. Stampfer (ed.), The 
Sephardim: A Cultural Journey from Spain to the Pacific Coast (1987); 
Y. Assis, in: Encuentros and Desencuentros, Spanish Jewish Cultural 
Interaction (2000), 29-37; idem, in: A. Rapoport- Albert and S.J. Zip- 
perstein (eds.), Jewish History, Essays in Honour ofChimen Abramsky 
(1988), 25-59; A. Mirsky, A. Grossman, and Y. Kaplan (eds.), Exile 
and Diaspora; Studies in the History of the Jewish People Presented to 
Professor Haim Beinart (1991) (2 vols, one in Hebrew, the second in 
other languages); J.L. Lacave, Sefarad: La Espana judia (1987); idem, 
Juderias y sinagogas espanolas (1992); D. Romano, in: Proceedings 
of the 10 th World Congress of Jewish Studies (1900), Division B, vol. 
2, 135-42; H. Beinart, ed., The Sephardi Legacy (1992), 2 vols.; idem, 
The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain (2002) (trans, from Hebrew); 
E. Kedourie (ed.), Spain and the Jews; The Sephardi Experience, 1492 
and After (1992); V.B. Mann, J.D. Dodds, and T.F. Glick (ed.), Con- 
vivencia: Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Medieval Spain (1992); H. 
Mechoulan (ed.), Les Juifs d'Espagne; histoire d'une diaspora (1992). 
Muslim period: Ashtor, Korot; E. Ashtor, in: Zion, 28 (1963), 34-56; 
Ibn Daud, Tradition; R. Dozy, Spanish Islam (1913); E. Levi- Provencal, 
Histoire de VEspagne Musulmane, 2 vols. (1950); H.J. Schirmann, in: 

ymhsi, 2 (1936), 117-212; 4 (1938), 247-96; 6 (1945)* 249-347; idem, 
in: Zion, 1 (1936), 261-83, 357 _ 76; idem, in: jsos, 13 (1951), 99-126; 
Schirmann, Sefarad, 1-2 (1960-61 2 ), passim; L. Torres-B albas, in: Al- 
Andalus, 19 (1954), 189-97; A.S. Halkin, in: L. Finkelstein (ed.), The 
Jews, 2 (i960 3 ), 1116-49; M. Margaliot, Hilkhot ha-Nagid (1962), 1-11; 
S.D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society (1967), index, add. bibliog- 
raphy: S.D. Gotein, in: Orientalia Hispanica, 1:1 (1974), 331-50; N. 
Allony, in: Sefunot, n.s., 1 (1980), 63-82; A. Pinero Saenz, in: J. Pelaez 
del Rosal (ed.), The Jews in Cordoba (x-xn) Centuries (1987), 9-27. 
christian period: Baer, Spain; Baer, Urkunden; Neuman, Spain; 
H. Beinart, Anusim be-Din ha-Inkvizizyah (1965); J. Juster, in: Etudes 
d'histoire juridique offertes a Paul Frederic Girard (1912), 275-335; F. 
Cantera Burgos, in: C. Roth (ed.), World History of the Jewish People, 
2 (1966), 357-81; J. Regne, Catalogue des actes de Jaime Ier, Pedro in 
et Alfonso in, rois d'Aragon, concernant les Juifs (1911-14); I. Epstein, 
Responsa of R. Solomon ben Adreth of Barcelona (1235-1310) as a 
Source of History of Spain (1925); I.S. Revah, in: rej, 118 (1959), 29-77; 
Sefarad, 1 (1941-71); R. Cansinos-Assens, Espana y los judios espa- 
noles. El retorno del exodo (1917); idem, Los judios en Sefarad: episo- 
dios y simbolos (1950). add. bibliography: Y.H. Yerushalmi, in: 
Salo Wittmayer Baron Jubilee Volume on the Occasion of His Eighti- 
eth Birthday (1974), 1023-58; M. Kriegel, Les Juifs a la fin du Moyen 
Age dans VEurope mediterraneene (1979); D. Romano, in: Sefarad, 39 
(1979), 347-54; idem, in: ibid., 51 (1991), 353-67; idem, in: Hispania 
sacra, 40 (1988), 955-78; H. Beinart, in: Zion, 51 (1986), 61-85; Y. As- 
sis, in: Zion, 46 (1981), 251-77 (Heb.); idem, ibid., 50 (1985), 221-40 
(Heb.); idem, in: rej, 142 (1983), 209-27; idem, in: Sefunot, 3:18 (1985), 
11-34; idem, in: J. Dan (ed.), Tarbut ve-Historiyah {Culture and His- 
tory) (Heb., 1987), 121-45; idem, in: Jewish Art, 18 (1992), 7-29; idem, 
in: D. Frank (ed.), The Jews of Medieval Islam (1995) 111-24; idem, in: 
S. Kottek (ed.), Medical Ethics in Medieval Spain (13 th -i4 th Centuries) 
(1996), 33-49; idem, The Golden Age of Aragonese Jewry (1997); idem, 
Jewish Economy in the Medieval Crown of Aragon (1997); E. Gutwirth, 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


in: Misceldneo de Estudios Areabes y Hebraicos, 30:2 (1981), 83-98; 
idem, in: ibid., 34:2 (1985), 85-91; idem, in: Sefarad, 49 (1989), 237-62; 
M. de Menaca, in: Lespays de la Mediterranee occidentale au Moyen 
Age; etudes et (1983), 235-53; J. Hacker, in: R.I. Cohen, Vi- 
sion and Conflict in the Holy Land (1985), 111-39; idem, in: Sefunot, 
n.s. 2 (1983), 21-95; B. Leroy, Laventure sefarade (1986); J.R. Magda- 
lena Nom de Deu, in: Calls, 2 (1987), 7-16; J. Riera i Sans, in: Calls, 3 
(1988-89), 9-28; P. Leon Tello, in: Anuario de estudios medievales, 19 
(1989), 451-67; D. Schwatz, in: Peamim, 46-47 (1991), 92-114 (Heb.); 
holocaust period: N. Robinson, Spain of Franco and its Policies 
Towards the Jews (1953). add. bibliography: H. Avni, Spain, the 
Jews and Franco (1982). contemporary period: J. Goodman, in: 
ajyb, 68 (1967), 332-41; H. Beinart, Ha-Yishuv ha-Yehudi he-Hadash 
bi-Sefarad, Reka, Meziut ve-Haarakhah (1969). 

SPANDAU, city in Germany; since 1920 part of the metropoli- 
tan area of ^Berlin. Jews settled in Spandau as early as the 13 th 
century. Although a source dated 1307 gave Jews permission to 
maintain a communal slaughterhouse, meat selling was lim- 
ited to those who maintained a house in the city. Jews were en- 
gaged mostly in moneylending, having been given permission 
to do so providing they charged a reasonable rate of interest 
and refrained from debasing the coinage. In part, the granting 
of the privilege was intended to help provide the funds for the 
building of the city walls. As an additional stimulus to Jew- 
ish settlement, Duke Rudolph submitted to the city council 
(1324) a plan for exempting Jews from all taxes for a period 
of two years. A cemetery was noted in 1324 and a synagogue 
in 1342. (In 1955-56, 19 Jewish gravestones which dated from 
1284 to 1947 were unearthed in Spandau.) The Jews of Berlin 
buried their dead in Spandau until the 15 th century. While 
some Jews reached high levels of governmental administra- 
tion in the financial service of Duke Louis, the Jewish com- 
munity itself went through a period of considerable unrest 
at the time of the *Black Death persecutions. In 1496 there 
were 50 Jews in the city. In 1510, however, Jews were accused 
of desecrating the *Host and were driven from the city. Their 
cemetery and synagogue were confiscated. No Jews lived in 
Spandau until the 18 th century. In 1782 there were eight Jews 
in the city, and in 1812 there were 52. Religious services were 
held in a private home, and a religious school was established 
in 1854. The Jews of Spandau joined with those of Nauen and 
Kremmen as a single community until 1894. After that time 
the Jews of Spandau again maintained a separate community, 
building a synagogue in 1895. Expanded commercial activity 
brought additional Jews to the city. By 1880 there were 165 Jews 
in Spandau; 316 in 1910; 514 in 1925; 725 in 1933. In 1937 there 
were 381. On the eve of the Nazi accession to power, the com- 
munity maintained a religious school and three philanthropic 
organizations. Its fate during the Holocaust was part of that of 
the Jews of all Berlin. In 1989 a memorial was consecrated to 
the former synagogue that was destroyed in 1938. 

bibliography: Germania Judaica, 2 (1968), 772-4; vol. 3 
(1987), 1382-84; F. Kohstall, Aus der Chronik der Spandauer Juedi- 
schen Gemeinde (1929); fjw, 62. add. bibliography: A. Kaulen 
and J. Pohl, Juden in Spandau. Vom Mittelalter bis 1945 (1988) (Reihe 
Deutsche Vergangenheit, vol. 33; Staetten der Geschichte Berlins); 

Juedische Buerger Spandaus nach 1933: Informationen zur Ausstellung 
einer Arbeitsgruppe der Carl-Diem-Ob erschule Spandau (1991). 

[Alexander Shapiro] 

SPANEL, ABRAM NATHANIEL (1901-1985), U.S. industri- 
alist, inventor, philanthropist. Spanel was the founder of one 
of the biggest corset and brassiere companies in the U.S. and 
an inventor who held more than 2,000 patents. He was prob- 
ably best known, however, for the editorials he wrote as paid 
advertisements in scores of newspapers all over the country 
for more than 40 years. In them, he offered his opinions on 
world affairs, with particular emphasis on matters affecting 
the State of Israel, whose cause he championed. 

Born in Odessa, Russia, the son of a tailor and a laun- 
dress, he was taken to Paris by his family at an early age, and 
then to Rochester, n.y., when he was 10. He was a student at 
the University of Rochester for three years, then invented a 
garment bag that could be aired and moth-proofed with a 
vacuum cleaner. He made his first million dollars with his 
first business, the Vacuumizer Manufacturing Company. In 
1932 he founded the International Latex Corporation, which 
later became the International Playtex Corporation. Playtex 
was the first company to make a bra with elastic, the first to 
package intimate apparel and sell it as a brand, and the first 
to advertise it on television. It was also the first to use live 
women modeling bras in tv commercials. Spanel retired as 
chairman of International Playtex in 1975, but remained ac- 
tive as head of the Spanel Foundation and Spanel Interna- 
tional Ltd., a business he started in 1976 to manufacture some 
of his inventions. Spanel was awarded patents on an eclectic 
range of products, including a hair-cutting device to be used 
in the home and a pneumatic stretcher for transporting mili- 
tary personnel wounded in combat. His philanthropic inter- 
ests focused on medical research, especially child care. He 
established the Spanel Foundation for Cancer Research in 
New York City and the Playtex Park Research Institute at his 
company's headquarters in Dover, Delaware. His employees 
were provided with free Vitamin c tablets and were among 
the first workers to have air-conditioning, paid health and life 
insurance, and a profit-sharing plan. During World War 11, 
Spanel contributed more than $1.5 million to the war effort, 
the profits he had made on war contracts. A staunch advocate 
of Franco- American relations, he was made a Commander of 
the Legion of Honor by France. 

bibliography: W.H. Waggoner, New York Times (April 2, 


[Mort Sheinman (2 nd ed.)] 

SPANIER, ARTHUR (1889-1944), German scholar and li- 
brarian. Spanier, who was born in Magdeburg, studied clas- 
sical languages at the University of Berlin and Hebrew at the 
Lehranstalt fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums (1908-13). 
In 1914-15 he worked as a school teacher in Berlin, and then 
served in the German army. After the war he resumed teach- 
ing, first in Berlin, and then in Koenigsberg. He was appointed 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



a research fellow at the newly founded *Akademie fuer die 
Wissenschaft des Judentums in 1919-20. He received his Ph.D. 
in Freiburg/Breisgau in 1920. In 1921 he entered the service of 
the Prussian State Library, becoming head of the Hebraica and 
Judaica division in 1926, specializing also in the Armenian lan- 
guage. As a "non- Aryan" he was pensioned off in 1935. From 
1937 he lectured at the *Hochschule fuer die Wissenschaft 
des Judentums. In 1938 he was taken to the Sachsenhausen 
concentration camp, but was released, whereupon he immi- 
grated to the Netherlands in 1939. He perished at *Bergen- 

Spanier's main scholarly interests and works were in 
Talmudics. He wrote Die Toseftaperiode in der Tannaitischen 
Literatur (1922), in which he suggested that Tosefta had its 
origin in marginal notes to the Mishnah; Die Massoretischen 
Akzente (1927); Das Berliner Baraita Fragment (1931); Zur 
Frage des Liter or ischen Verhaeltnisses zwischen Mischnah und 
Tosefta (1931). 

bibliography: E. Taeubler, in: hj, 7 (1945), 96; E.G. Lowen- 
thal (ed.), Bewaehrung im Untergang (1965), i62ff. add. bibliog- 
raphy: W. Schochow, in: Mitteilungen der Staatsbibliothek Preus- 
sischer Kulturbesitz 1 (1990), 36-38. 

[Archive Bibliographia Judaica] 


Biblical and Hebraic Influences 

One result of the Christian struggle against Muslim invad- 
ers of the Iberian peninsula from the eighth century onward 
was the blending of national and religious aspirations, which 
revealed itself in Spanish literature. Jews and Christians co- 
operated in translating the Bible into the vernacular, and the 
Old Testament version was taken direct from the Hebrew in 
renderings that antedate 1250. Thus, although Juan 1 of Ara- 
gon prohibited such activities in 1233, *Alfonso the Wise (Al- 
fonso x of Castile, 1221-1284) enthusiastically encouraged the 
translation of the Bible into Spanish. Indeed, Alfonso himself, 
in his General egrande Estoria, linked the history of the world 
as known in his time with the Hebraic history of the Bible. 
In the 15 th century further biblical projects were promoted by 
Jews or Conversos. The version by Moses *Arragel (1422) was 
followed by that published by Abraham * Usque, whose Fer- 
rara Bible (1553) appeared in two slightly differing editions. Us- 
que's Bible inspired Jewish translations into Judeo-Spanish or 
*Ladino, the dialect of Spanish which Jewish exiles took with 
them after the Expulsion of 1492. With the official Catholic 
ban on Spanish versions of the Bible a century later, these be- 
came a Jewish monopoly, and after 1600 Spain ceased to be 
a Bible- reading country until the Spanish hierarchy changed 
its policy at the end of the 18 th century. 

During the Renaissance, however, the Bible was a signif- 
icant influence in Spanish and Portuguese literature, though 
more especially among writers of Jewish or *Marrano origin, 
whether in the Iberian peninsula or abroad. Luis de *Leon 
(1527-1591), a humanist scholar and poet whose New Chris- 
tian descent was responsible for his spending five years in the 

cells of the Inquisition, is said to have translated the Song of 
Songs from the Hebrew, and biblical themes and metaphors 
greatly influenced his original verse. Much the same may be 
said of the mystical poets of the Spanish Renaissance, notably 
Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591). Biblical echoes can even 
be found in the works of a completely secular writer such 
as Garcilaso de la Vega (1503-1536). Diego Sanchez (c. 1530) 
composed a Farsa de Salomon and other plays on Abraham, 
Moses, and David; Micael de Carvajal (c. 1575) wrote a drama 
about Joseph; and the 96 biblical autos of the Madrid Codex 
(1550-75) include 26 on Old Testament subjects. Solomon 
*Usque (c. 1530-c. 1596), a professing Jew of Marrano origin, 
wrote a Spanish Purim play, Ester, first staged in the Venice 
ghetto in 1558. 

biblical drama. Biblical drama and poetry really became 
prominent, however, from the 17 th century. In Spain the pro- 
lific Tirso de Molina (Gabriel Tellez, c. 1584-1648) composed 
La mejor espigadera (1634), based on the story of Ruth; and La 
venganza de Tamar (1634), a drama about Absalom. The Old 
Testament played an even more important part in the writ- 
ings of Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1600-1681), who made 
use of the biblical themes of the Babylonian captivity (in La 
cena de Baltasar), the Ark of the Covenant, David, Solomon, 
and Job for his autos sacramentales (religious plays). The 
auto of Spain's Golden Age had been anticipated to a great 
extent by the religious plays and moralities of Gil Vicente 
(c. 1465-c. 1536), a Portuguese court dramatist, many of whose 
works were written in Spanish. Writers of Jewish origin in- 
spired by the Bible include Felipe *Godinez (c. 1588-c. 1639), 
a Seville dramatist and preacher, who wrote plays about Isaac, 
David, Haman and Mordecai, Job, and Judith. Others who left 
the peninsula to take refuge abroad were Francisco (Joseph) 
de *Caceres, whose Los siete Dias de la Semana (1612) was an 
adaptation of a Creation epic, La Semaine, by the French Prot- 
estant *Du Bartas; David *Abenatar Melo, a Marrano revert to 
Judaism, who published a Spanish verse rendering of the 
Psalms (1626); and Antonio Enriquez *G6mez, an immensely 
popular writer, whose works include the biblical epic, El 
Sanson Nazareno (1656) and La Torre de Babilonia (1647). 
Two Portuguese Marrano poets who found inspiration in 
the Bible were Joao (Mose) *Pinto Delgado (d. 1653), a leader 
of the Crypto-Jewish community in Rouen, who dedicated 
to Cardinal Richelieu his Poema de la Reyna Ester, Lamenta- 
ciones del Prof eta Jeremias, and Historia de Rut (Rouen, 1687); 
and Miguel de * Silveyra, whose baroque masterpiece, El Ma- 
cabeo (Naples, 1638), was written in Spanish. The early 18 th - 
century author Isaac Cohen de *Lara wrote a graceful Come- 
diafamosa de Amdn y Mordochay (Amsterdam, 1699), based 
on the Book of Esther and the related midrashic traditions, 
and a ballad about Jacob which was printed in the same vol- 
ume. The works of Abraham de *Bargas, a refugee Marrano 
author and physician, included ethical discourses on the 
Bible, Pensamientos sagrados y educaciones morales (Leg- 
horn, 1749). 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


During the 18 th and 19 th centuries biblical and other He- 
braic themes became less common in Spanish and Portuguese 
literature, perhaps as a result of political and social conserva- 
tism and the disappearance of the Jews. Even in the 20 th cen- 
tury, interest in these subjects has been largely restricted. A 
remarkable exception was the eminent Spanish novelist and 
critic Rafael Cansinos-Assens (1883-1964) of Marrano descent. 
Reverting to Judaism, he studied Hebrew and wrote a series 
of works on Jewish themes. These include Psalmos. El cande- 
labro de los siete brazos (1914), love poems in "biblical" style; 
Las bellezas del Talmud (1919), translated selections; Salome 
en la literatura (1919); Cuentos judios (1922); Las luminarias de 
Hanukah; Un episodio de la historia de Israel en Espaha (1924), 
a novel; and El amor en el Cantor de los Cantares (1930), with 
texts in Hebrew and Spanish. 

The Image of the Jew in Spanish Literature 

Jews have generally been portrayed in Spanish literature in 
an unfavorable guise. Their earliest appearance is in the epic 
Poems del Cid (or Cantor de Mio Cod (c. 1140)) in which two 
moneylenders, Raquel and Vidas, are cheated by El Cid, the 
national hero, giving him 600 marks on the security of a richly 
decorated chest filled with sand. The episode has been vari- 
ously interpreted, but it must have appealed to the antisemi- 
tism of the audiences listening to a troubadour telling the 
story. In his Milagros de Nuestra Senora y the poet Gonzalo 
de Berceo (c. 1195-c. 1265) repeats several miracles involving 
Jews, tales which enjoyed a European vogue: the Jews who are 
converted are saved, the others are portrayed as diabolical fig- 
ures deserving the punishments of Hell. The 13 th - century Dis- 
puta entre un cristiano y unjudio> typical of the disputation 
literature written by Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Spain, 
is remarkable only for its coarseness and for the Christians 
prurient interest in the Jewish rite of circumcision. Perhaps the 
most favorable medieval Spanish treatment of the Jew is found 
in the works of the infante Don Juan Manuel (1282-1348). In 
his Libro de los castigos Juan Manuel wrote with great sym- 
pathy of his doctor, Don Salamon, and recommended him in 
glowing terms to his son. In the 14 th century, the poet and his- 
torian Pedro Lopez de Ayala (1332-1407) castigated the pow- 
erful court Jews in his Rimado de Palacio, a work satirizing all 
the contemporary ills of the nation as he saw them, and not 
specifically antisemitic. In the same century, the archpriest of 
Hita (Juan Ruiz, c. 1283-c. 1350) composed songs for Moor- 
ish and Jewish dancing girls, as well as for Christians. The 
late 14 th - or early i5 th -century Danza de la muerte (Dance of 
Death) hispanicizes a widespread European type of satire in 
that it includes a Moorish alfaqui and a rabbi among those 
whom Death invites to dance, treating them no better and no 
worse than the other victims. 

Conversos and Marrano s 

Not surprisingly, the literature of the 15 th century, reflecting 
the mounting tensions and hatreds of the period, is full of an- 
tisemitic references. Both Jews and Conversos (especially the 
latter) are objects of scorn, and are depicted as cowardly, sly, 

and mercenary. Juan Alfonso de *Baena's Cancionero (1445), 
an anthology of the 14 th - and i5 th -century verse, contains sev- 
eral attacks on Jews and Conversos, as well as one or two con- 
tributions by Jews. The somewhat later Coplas del Provincial, a 
vicious libel on the highest nobility of the country, accuses the 
hidalgos mainly of sexual deviation and Judaizing. The Con- 
verso poet Rodrigo de *Cota de Maguaque (c. 1460), who al- 
luded to Jewish customs of his time, was outspokenly hostile to 
both Jews and Marranos. For this he was vigorously attacked 
by another Converso poet, Anton de *Montoro, who also en- 
gaged in a poetic feud with a third New Christian writer, Juan 
(Poeta) de *Valladolid. 

The post-expulsion literature of the 16 th and, even more, 
of the 17 th centuries - Spain's Golden Age of letters - had its 
share of anti- Jewish attacks and plays on words and concepts. 
Ecclesiastical censorship limited the range of satire, but the 
Conversos were one of the acceptable targets. To call a man 
a "Jew" was a serious insult, and even the slightest reflection 
on his *limpieza de sangre ("purity of blood") was considered 
grossly offensive. Satirical references were made to the sup- 
posed physical imperfections of the Jew, to his desire for social 
position, and to his beliefs and practices. Names suggestive of 
Jewish identity were ridiculed, and the allegation that a person 
had an aversion to pork was a stock-in-trade insult. Even the 
verb esperar (to wait) became a cliche, referring to the patience 
of the Jews awaiting the Messiah. The satirist Quevedo (Fran- 
cisco Gomez de Quevedo y Villegas, 1580-1645) attacked his 
literary rival, Luis de Gongora (1561-1627), with allusions to 
his nose - it was commonly believed that the nose revealed a 
man's Jewish origin - and threatened to anoint his own poems 
with bacon so that Gongora would be deterred from stealing 
them. Quevedo's writings were probably the most insistently 
anti-Jewish of the period, except for specifically anti- Jewish 
literature, such as sermons at *autos-da-fe, which were printed 
and widely read. By contrast, the Navarrese physician and 
writer Juan *Huarte de San Juan displayed marked sympathy 
for the Jews in his Examen de ingeniospara las ciencias (1575), 
where he even suggested that Jews were especially suited to the 
practice of medicine. The great novelist Miguel de * Cervantes 
Saavedra who (like Huarte de San Juan) has been claimed as 
a Marrano, occasionally indulged in anti- Jewish poems, but 
derided the doctrine of limpieza. Two of his plays barely dis- 
guise his admiration for the Jew's religious tenacity and na- 
tional vitality. 

Other writers who used conventional attacks and jokes at 
Jewish expense were Tirso de Molina, Lope de Vega, Alonso 
Castillo Solorzano (1854-c. 1648), and Calderon. A more vi- 
cious accusation (found in Tirso's La Prudencia en la mujer, 
1634) was that Converso doctors murdered their Christian 
patients. Lope de Vega's play, El nino inocente de la Guardia 
(1617), repeated the charge that the Marranos committed ritual 
murder (see *Blood Libel). Such an accusation was rare after 
1492, when New Christians often occupied positions of power 
and could be formidable enemies. The story of the * Jewess of 
Toledo, the mistress of Alfonso vin, provided the theme for 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



comedias by Lope de Vega (Las paces de los reyes y judia de 
Toledo, 1617), Antonio Mira de Amescua (c. 1574-1644), and 
Juan Bautista Diamante (1625-1687) whose La judia de Toledo 
(1673) endows the Jews with noble characters. The best work 
of the i8 th -century neoclassical theater in Spain is La Raquel 
(1778), a tragedy on the same theme by Vicente Garcia de la 
Huerta (1734-87). 

Modern Spanish Writers 

Jewish characters are relatively unimportant in modern Span- 
ish literature. The i9 th -century romantics, Becquer, Larra, 
and Zorrilla, occasionally wrote of exotic Jewish types, but 
displayed little sympathy for them. Among novelists, Benito 
Perez Galdos (1843-1920) in Misericordia (1897) created 
the delightful character of Almudena, who is described as 
a Moor but whose patois is based on some linguistic ele- 
ments of *Ladino speech. In Fortunata y Jacinta (1886-87) 
Galdos shows that in the late 19 th century Marranos were still 
thought to dominate Madrid business circles. Pio Baroja y 
Nessi (1872-1956), who was opposed to almost everything, 
also displayed literary antisemitism. In the 20 th century, Vi- 
cente Blasco Ibanez (1867-1928), a revolutionary writer who 
claimed Jewish descent, dealt with the problem of Major- 
ca's *Chuetas in his novel, Los Muertos mandan (1909; "The 
Dead Command," 1919). Another liberal writer, Salvador de 
Madariaga (1886-1978), recreated in his novel El corazon de 
piedra verde (1943; "The Heart of Jade," 1944) the violent and 
romantic world of the 16 th - century half- Jewish conquistador 
Sebastiano Garcilaso (d. 1559), father of the Peruvian historian, 
Garcilaso de la Vega ("El Inca," c. 1540-1616). A monumen- 
tal work is the three-volume Judios en la Espana moderna y 
contempordnea (1962) of Julio Caro Baroja. Among works by 
R. Cansinos Assens in the same field are Espana y los judios 
espanoles... (1917) and Los judios en la literatura Espanola en 
Sefard; episodios y simbolos (1950). 

The Image of the Jew in Portuguese Literature 

In general, the attitude toward Jews in Portuguese literature 
parallels that of Spanish writers. Portuguese literature is of 
somewhat later origin than Castilian, and medieval references 
are rare. There are occasional anti-Jewish remarks in the Can- 
tigas descarnho e maldizer (i3 th -i4 th century), and it is worth 
recording that Alfonso x of Castile wrote his Cantigas de Santa 
Maria in Galician, a dialect of Portuguese. Fifteen of the mira- 
cles described here deal with Jews, who are portrayed as child- 
murderers, cheats, and agents of the devil. The Cancioneiro 
Geral (1516) of Garcia de Resende (1470-1536) contains many 
satirical references to Jews, and Anrique da Mota pokes fun 
at the misfortunes of a Jewish tailor in his Farsa do Alfaiate. 
Jewish characters appear in several works by the versatile dra- 
matist Gil Vicente who wrote in both Portuguese and Span- 
ish and who witnessed the expulsion and forced conversion 
of the Jews in Portugal. In his religious Autos de Moralidade 
das Barcas and the Didlogo sobre a Ressurreicdo y he presented 
the stereotyped arguments about the Jews as deicides, iden- 

tified with the devil, but elsewhere he portrayed Jews more 
realistically. In the farces Ines Pereira (1523) and Juiz da Beira 
(1525), Vicentes Jewish characters and customs are based on 
personal observation, and if there is in them an element of 
caricature, this is also true of his other characters. In the first 
part of the Auto da Lusitdnia (1532) the main characters are 
a Jewish tailor, D. Juda, and his wife and daughter, who are 
treated with remarkable delicacy and respect. In other works 
Vicente discreetly protested against the forced conversion of 
Jews and brutal attacks on New Christians. 

After the expulsion of 1497, Portuguese Conversos and 
their descendants were subjected to literary attacks. In his 
Apologos Dialogaes (1721) Francisco Manuel de Melo (1608- 
1666) wrote satirically of the converts in business, as did Ma- 
noel Monteiro, in Academia nos monies (1642). During the 16 th 
and 17 th centuries there were also many anti- Jewish doctrinal 
works, some by baptized Jews such as Joao Baptista de Este, 
but these were not of a literary nature. 

In the 19 th century the theme of love between a Chris- 
tian youth and a beautiful Jewess was used by the Visconde de 
Almeida Garrett (1799-1854) in his Romanceiro e Cancioneiro 
Geral (3 vols., 1843-51) and by the Brazilian romantic poet An- 
tonio de Castro Alves (1847-71). The same theme is the basis 
of the much-recited romantic poem "A Judia" of Tomas Ri- 
beiro (1831-1901). A defense of the Jews was put forward by 
Alexandre Herculano de Carvalho e Araujo (1810-1877) m his 
classical Historia da origem e estabelecimento da Inquiscao em 
Portugal (3 vols., 1854-59). Other writers who championed the 
Jews were the novelists Camilo Castelo Branco (1825-1890), 
himself of Jewish descent, and Jose Maria de Eca de Queiros 
(1846-1900), who wrote a scathing denunciation of German 
antisemitism and Bismarck's anti- Jewish policy in the sixth 
of his Cartas de Inglaterra (1903) and gave a remarkably vivid 
picture of life in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus in his novel A 
Reliquia. The martyred i8 th -century playwright Antonio Jose 
da *Silva, was the central character of several works, including 
Castelo Branco s novel, O Judeu (2 vols., 1866), and the roman- 
tic drama, Antonio Jose - o Poeta e a Inquisicao y by the Brazil- 
ian Domingos Jose Goncalves de Magalhaes (1811-1882). 

The Jewish Contribution to Spanish Literature 

The contribution of the Sephardim to Spanish literature was 
from the 12 th to the 17 th centuries, but a distinction must be 
made between the literary role of professing Jews and that of 
Conversos or New Christians, who were merely of Jewish or- 
igin. Spanish literature's earliest monuments, whose impor- 
tance was discovered only in the 20 th century, are intimately 
related to the two Semitic peoples living in Andalusia. These 
are the jarchas - short poetic endings, in colloquial Arabic or 
Mozarabic transcribed into Arabic or Hebrew characters, to 
longer compositions in classical Arabic or Hebrew, known as 
muwashashat. Of the more than 50 jarchas that are known, at 
least 20 form the endings to Hebrew muwashshat. The earliest 
was part of a muwashshat ("girdle poem") written by Joseph 
the Scribe and dedicated to Ismail ibn Nagrela (i.e., *Samuel 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


ha-Nagid) and his brother Isaac. Believed to have been writ- 
ten before 1042, it constitutes the oldest known lyric poetry 
in any language of western Europe, antedating even the earli- 
est Provencal poems. Jarchas are to be found in muwashshat 
of the great Hebrew poets of Spain, Moses * Ibn Ezra, * Judah 
Halevi, and Meir ben Todros ha- Levi *Abulafia. 

translators and poets. The Jews of medieval Spain also 
distinguished themselves as translators, forming an important 
bridge between Oriental, scientific, and ethical knowledge and 
the nascent European culture (see Translations). Possessing 
a knowledge of Arabic, Hebrew, and one or another of the 
Romance languages, they were invaluable collaborators. The 
task of imparting Arabic learning to the western world was 
not limited to any one center, but of them all the most impor- 
tant was Toledo. In the 12 th century Archbishop Raimundo 
(d. 1152) gathered Jews, Christians, and Moors there to trans- 
late Arabic scientific and philosophical texts. The prologue to 
the Latin version of *Avicenna's De Anima tells how the work 
was done. Juan Hispano, a Converso, translated orally from 
Arabic into Romance, which Dominicus Gundisalvi in turn 
translated into Latin. The Latin was written down by a scribe. 
In the 13 th century Toledo was again a center of cultural activ- 
ity, but now works were translated from Arabic into Castilian, 
reflecting the wish of Alfonso x to make the spoken language 
of his country that of government and culture. Alfonso's Jew- 
ish translators were Isaac ibn Cid, Don Abraham, and R. Judah 
ben Moses ha-Kohen (Judah Mosca). Judah (Jafuda) *Bonse- 
nyor of Barcelona (d. 1331) compiled for James 11 of Aragon 
a volume of maxims in Catalan, mainly derived from Arabic 
and Jewish sources, titled Libre de Paraules e dits de Savis e 
Filosofs (c. 1300). Another Jewish savant was Isaac al-Carsoni, 
whose Hebrew astronomical tables, compiled for Pedro iv 
(1336-1387), were later translated into Latin and Catalan. 

An early and famous Jewish composer of Spanish verse 
was Shem Tov b. Isaac Ardutiel, known to Spaniards as *San- 
tob de Carrion and Don Santo. His Proverbios morales, writ- 
ten probably between 1355 and 1360, are the first examples of 
aphoristic verse in Spanish. Moses de Zaragua *Acan (c. 1300) 
rivals Santob as a Jewish literary pioneer in Spain. His Cata- 
lan verse treatise on chess was translated into Spanish in 1350. 
Jews also contributed to medieval Spanish culture through the 
literatura aljamiada y the name given to works in Spanish writ- 
ten in Arabic or Hebrew characters. An example of the latter is 
to be found in one of the four manuscripts in the Cambridge 
University Library of Santob's Proverbios (ed. by Ig. Gonza- 
lez Wubera, 1947). This also contains a poetic treatment of 
the biblical story of Joseph, called Coplas de Yocef y which was 
influenced by * Josephus and the Midrash, and later became 
important in Ladino literature. 

Jewish and converso writers. The writers active in 
Spain from the 15 th century onward were invariably Marranos 
or Conversos, rather than professing Jews. The massacres that 
began in 1391, mass conversions, and the expulsion of 1492 

combined to bring to an end Spanish Jewry's Golden Age and 
the open practice of Judaism in Spain. There were, of course, 
Converso writers before 1492, such as the moralist *Petrus 
Alfonsi in the 12 th century (Disciplina clericalis y 1120), or the 
Christian apologist Alfonso de Valladolid (*Abner of Burgos) 
in the 14 th . But the 15 th century saw a completely new internal 
situation in Spain: a whole class of "New Christians" came 
into being, and at the same time popular antisemitism made 
a sharp cleavage between peoples and religions that had pre- 
viously at least coexisted. The intellectual elite was composed 
largely of Conversos, and many of the writers and humanists 
who set the tone of the century were New Christians. They 
also rose to fame in the Church and at court. Ferdinand and 
Isabella, who signed the decree of expulsion, were not averse 
to having their deeds recorded by Conversos. Diego de Val- 
era (c. 1412-88), who wrote the Cronica de los Reyes Catolicos y 
was the son of Alonso *Chirino (d. 1430?), the baptized physi- 
cian of Juan 11 of Castile and author of some curious works on 
medicine. The official chronicler of the Catholic monarchs and 
secretary to the queen was Hernando del Pulgar (1436-1493), 
also thought to have been a Converso. 

New Christians were among the poets active in the reign 
of Juan 11 (1458-79), and later in the century several writ- 
ers of minor stature testified to the psychological state of the 
converts. As members of a minority group scorned and up- 
braided by the majority, they often took refuge in satire di- 
rected against each other - or even against themselves. In lit- 
erary polemics of the era, the accusation of being a Marrano 
(Crypto- Jew) was frequently leveled, whether or not with jus- 
tification. Among Spanish writers of real or imagined New 
Christian extraction were Juan *Avarez Gato, Rodrigo de Cota 
de Maguaque, Juan (Poeta) de Valladolid, Juan de Espana, el 
Viejo, Juan de Mena (1411-1456), Anton de Montoro, and Al- 
fonso de la *Torre. Beneath the badinage and cynical laughter, 
however, one feels the bitterness of the outcast. Two famous 
prose works written in the reign of Isabella of Castile were by 
New Christians: the Cdrcel de Amor (1492) of Diego de San 
Pedro and La Celestina (1499), written either entirely or in 
large part by Fernando de *Rojas. Both works are the products 
of the sadness and suffering of the Conversos. 

The Later Conversos 

While New Christians undoubtedly played an important part 
in Spanish cultural life throughout the 16 th and 17 th centuries, 
it is not easy to determine their contribution with any preci- 
sion, since they found it advisable to conceal their origin. As 
a result of the statutes on purity of blood (see limpieza de san- 
gre) y known Conversos found their opportunities for ecclesi- 
astical, social, and political advancement severely limited, and 
even the most orthodox Catholics were affected. The grandfa- 
ther of Spain's greatest saint and mystic, Santa Teresa of Avila, 
had been penanced by the Inquisition for Judaizing, and there 
is evidence that the father of the great i6 th -century humanist, 
Juan Luis *Vives, was burned as a Judaizer, and that he him- 
self attended a secret synagogue as a child. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Conversos also distinguished themselves as innovators in 
Spanish prose. The first pastoral novel written in Spanish was 
Diana (1559?) by Jorge de Montemayor (c. 1520-1561), a writer 
of Portuguese origin who was taunted with Jewish ancestry by 
one of his contemporaries. The picaresque novel, considered 
a peculiarly Spanish invention, owes much to Converso writ- 
ers. The anonymous author of the first such work, La vida de 
Lazarillo de Tormes (1554), may have been a New Christian, as 
a brief passage at the beginning of the work is a veiled satire 
on racial prejudice. No picaresque novels appeared during the 
reign of Philip 11 (1556-98), but the year following his death 
saw the publication of the first part of Guzman de Alfarache 
(1599) by Mateo *Aleman. Luis Velez de Guevara (1579-1644) 
contributed to the genre with El diablo Cojuelo (1641), as did 
Antonio Enriquez Gomez (see above), with El siglo pitagorico y 
Vida de don Gregorio Guadana (1644). No Converso appeared 
in the first rank of dramatists during Spain's Golden Age, but 
several had their works produced on the Madrid stage. Apart 
from Enriquez Gomez, they include the prolific Juan Perez de 
Montalvan (1602-1638), the son of a New Christian bookseller 
and publisher, who nevertheless was appointed a notary of the 
Holy Office and who became a friend and follower of Lope 
de Vega; and Felipe Godinez (see above). From the 18 th cen- 
tury onward, there were undoubtedly many Spanish writers 
of Jewish descent, but by then the question had become less 
important. In the 19 th century, Jose *Taronji y Cortes, a Span- 
ish priest and Catalan poet of Marrano origin, testified to the 
prejudice besetting the Chuetas of Majorca. So far as Spanish 
literature is concerned, however, marranismo was unimport- 
ant after the 17 th century. 

refugee writers. In the Marrano diaspora, on the other 
hand, professing Jews - refugees or their descendants - made 
an important contribution to Spanish letters throughout the 
17 th and 18 th centuries. Refugees active in Amsterdam in the 
latter half of the 17 th century were Joseph Semah (Zemah) 
*Arias, a former Spanish army captain; Francisco (Joseph) de 
Caceres; two poetesses, Isabel (Rebecca) de *Correa and Isa- 
bel *Enriquez; Isaac * Gomez de Sossa, whose father had been 
physician to the infante Fernando of Spain; Isaac Cohen de 
Lara; and Nicolas (Daniel Judah) de * Oliver y Fullana, a for- 
mer Spanish colonel. Miguel (Daniel Levi) de *Barrios was 
one of the most eminent of these exiles. His travels took him 
to the West Indies and to the Low Countries, where he led a 
double life as a Spanish army captain in Brussels and as a Jew 
in Amsterdam. 

The Jewish Contribution to Portuguese Literature 

In medieval Portugal there were Jewish, as well as Moorish, 
troubadours, one of whom was called "O Judeu de Elvas" (the 
Jew of Elvas). Most Portuguese writers of Jewish descent were 
Marrano s, and many fled their native land in the 16 th and 
17 th centuries. Samuel *Usque's Consolacam as Tribulacoens 
de Israel, though published abroad (Ferrara, 1553), is consid- 
ered a classic of Portuguese literature. The novelist and poet 
Bernardim *Ribeiro, known as the father of Portuguese bu- 

colic literature (Hystoria de Menina y Moca y Ferrara, 1554), 
was probably a Marrano. Manoel *Fernandes Villereal was 
one of the many i7 th -century Portuguese authors who wrote 
mainly in Spanish. Perhaps the most famous victim of the 
Portuguese Inquisition was Antonio Jose da Silva ("O Judeu," 
1705-1739), who was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Da Silva 
was one of the few important Portuguese dramatists of the 18 th 
century, and although his career was cut short at the age of 
34, his works continued to be performed and published, albeit 
anonymously, long after his death. Although many Portuguese 
writers from the 19 th century onward proudly claimed Jewish 
ancestry, specifically Jewish contributions to the literature of 
Portugal effectively came to an end by 1700. 

[Kenneth R. Scholberg] 

The Jewish Contribution to Latin- American Literature 

During the 16 th and 17 th centuries many writers of Marrano 
origin left Spain and Portugal for the New World, in the hope 
of finding greater freedom there. Marranos were among the 
most cultivated members of the new American society. In 
Mexico, the martyred Luis de Carvajal El Mozo (1566-1596; see 
*Carvajal family), nephew of the governor of New Leon, was a 
competent poet; in Peru, Antonio de Leon Pinelo (1591-1658) 
was one of the first American bibliographers. Two eminent 
Marrano writers denounced to the Brazilian Inquisition were 
Ambrosio Fernandes *Brandao, author of the Didlogos das 
Grandezas do Brasil (c. 1618), and Bento *Teixeira Pinto, au- 
thor of the epic Prosopopeia (1601 2 ), the first literary work 
written in Brazil. 

By the 19 th century, Marrano culture had disappeared, 
and only a few Latin Americans were still conscious of their 
Jewish descent. In Venezuela, Abigail Lozano (1821-1866) 
and Salomon Lopez Fonseca (1853-1935) were noted poets. 
Two other writers were Abraham Lopez- Penha, a Domini- 
can writer, and Efraim Cardozo, a Paraguayan historian. 
The Colombian novelist, Jorge ^Isaacs, author of the classic, 
Maria (1867), was not of Sephardi origin, being the son of a 
converted English Jew. In time more liberal ideas promoted a 
somewhat romantic reassessment of the Crypto -Jews of Latin 
America, exemplified by La hija del judio y a story by Justo 
Sierra (1814-1861), and the novel Moisen (1924) by Julio Jime- 
nez Rueda, both Mexican non-Jews. Moisen is notable for its 
bizarre presentation of the Marranos and their secret religion. 
Exotic Jewish characters frequently appear in the short sto- 
ries of Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), one of the outstanding 
Argentine writers of the 20 th century. Borges, who was partly 
of Marrano descent, used kabbalistic and other Jewish ele- 
ments to heighten the suspense in his tales of mystery, some 
of which were collected in ElAleph (1949; TheAleph and Other 
Stories 1933-1969, 1970). His admiration for the Jewish State 
prompted two poems about Israel written in June 1967 at the 
time of the Six-Day War. Four years later, in April 1971, Borges 
was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for his contribution to the 
freedom of the individual at the Fifth International Book Fair 
held in Israel's capital. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Contemporary Jewish Writers 

Toward the end of the 19 th century, Ashkenazi Jewish commu- 
nities grew steadily, especially in Argentina, where the * Jew- 
ish Colonization Association (ica) resettled thousands of Jews 
from Russia. Two of Argentina's foremost Jewish writers, Al- 
berto *Gerchunoff, author of Los Gauchos Judios (1908-10), 
and Samuel * Eichelbaum were raised in the Argentine Jewish 
colonies. Carlos Moises Gruenberg (1903-1968), a prominent 
lawyer and poet, was known for his Mester de Juderia (1940); 
a keen Zionist, he translated Hebrew poetry into Spanish, 
and he was considered a masterly stylist. Salomon Resnick 
(1895-1946), an essayist and translator, who edited the weekly 
Mundo Israelita and the literary periodical Judaica y made Yid- 
dish literature known to the Spanish- speaking reader. Lazaro 
*Liacho (1897-1969), a journalist and poet, and his father, 
Jacob Simon Liachovitzky (1874-1937), a journalist and a lead- 
ing Zionist, both wrote on Jewish themes. Enrique Espinoza 
(Samuel Glusberg, 1898-1987) wrote tales of Jewish life in Bue- 
nos Aires and edited Babel, a literary magazine, first in Buenos 
Aires and later in Santiago, Chile. Cesar *Tiempo (Israel Zeit- 
lin, 1905-1980), a leading poet and playwright, played a promi- 
nent part in the fight against Argentine antisemitism. Bernardo 
Verbitzky (1902-1979), a journalist and novelist, portrayed 
Jewish life and the fate of the poor. Some other Argentine writ- 
ers were the novelist Max Dickmann (1897-1991), Maximo Jose 
Kahn (1897-1953), and Marcelo Menasche (1913- ). Literary 
essayists and historians included Albert Palcos (1894-1965), 
Leon *Dujovne, and Antonio Portnoy (1903-1958). 

Max *Aub (1903-1972), who settled in Mexico, was a 
staunchly anti- Fascist poet, playwright, and novelist. His trag- 
edy, San Juan (1943), dealt with the fate of Jewish refugees on 
a doomed ship in the Mediterranean. Jewish writers in Bra- 
zil included Fernando Levisky (1910-1982), author of Israel 
no Brasil (1936); the poet Idel Becker; the playwright Pedro 
Bloch; the novelist Clarice Lispector; Kurt Loewenstamm; and 
Henrique Iussim (who wrote under the name Zvi Yotam after 
emigrating to Israel). 

Despite their strong Zionist sympathies, Latin Ameri- 
ca's Jewish writers rarely dealt with Erez Israel in their works. 
One exception was Samuel Eichelbaum, whose short story, 
Una buena Cosecha, is set in Rosh Pinnah. A non-Jewish 
Venezuelan poet, Vicente Gerbasi (1913-1992), who was his 
country's ambassador to Israel (1960-68), included poems on 
Jerusalem and its Jewish inhabitants in his verse collection, 

Poesia de viajes (1968). 

[Paul Link] 

Younger Judeo- Argentinian writers continued to explore 
the process and problems of acculturation and assimilation 
which appear in the works of earlier writers like Gerchunoff. 
German Rozenmacher (1936-1971) presented an intergenera- 
tional conflict between an immigrant cantor and his Argen- 
tinian-born son in his play Requiem para unviernes a la noche 
(1964). Mario Szichman (b. 1945) in his novels, Cronica falsa 
(1969) and A las 20:3s ^ a senora entro a la inmortalidad (1981), 
depicted the odyssey of a Jewish family against the background 

of the Peronist era. David Vinas (b. 1929), Marcos Aguinis 
(b. 1935), Gerardo Mario Goloboff(b. 1939), Alicia Steimberg 
(b. 1933), and Marion Satz (b. 1944) were other writers of this 
new generation of Jewish intellectuals. 

Although Argentina, because of the size of the commu- 
nity and the vigor of the cultural milieu, contained the largest 
nucleus of Jewish authors, there were a number of writers in 
other Latin American countries, such as the Peruvian novelist 
Isaac Goldemberg (b. 1945), who told the story of an eastern 
European Jewish immigrant in The Fragmented Life of Don 
Jacobo Lerner (1976). In Venezuela Isaac Chocron (b. 1932), 
one of the country's most prominent playwrights, examined 
his Sephardi background in a novel, Rompase en caso de in- 
cendio (1975). 

Despite maintaining strong Zionist sympathies, Latin 
America's writers only occasionally set their works in Israel. 
In El caramelo descompuesto (1980), a novel by Ricardo Fei- 
erstein, a young Argentinian narrator looks critically at life 
on a kibbutz. 

A non-Jewish Venezuelan poet, Vicente Gerbasi 
(1913-1992), who was his country's ambassador to Israel 
(1960-68), included poems on Jerusalem and its Jewish in- 
habitants in his verse collection Poesids de viaje (1968). 

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict from a pro-Arab point 
of view was dealt with by the well known Mexican novelist, 
Carlos Fuentes, in his La cabeza de la hidra (1978; "The Hy- 
dra Head," 1978). 

[Edna Aizenberg] 

Latin American Jewish literature developed specifically 
in the 1970s and 1980s, and can be defined as the treatment 
of Jewish values in two languages - Spanish and Portuguese, 
as conceived and spoken in Latin America; and more par- 
ticularly, as the way in which these languages have left their 
mark on Latin American Jewry, through those authors who 
use them as their vehicle. 

In other words, the Jewish literature of Latin America ex- 
ploits the possibilities of expression offered by the Portuguese 
and Spanish languages to translate, both at the personal and 
the collective level, the way in which basic Jewish values are 
experienced and interpreted in the framework of living con- 
ditions in this part of the world. In the words of literary critic 
Saul Sonowski, "Jewish literature in Latin America is not built 
exclusively on the basis of motifs which can easily be identified 
as Jewish, but as a function of the relationship of these motifs 
to concrete realities which are in a process of development and 
transformation: the realities of the Latin American societies 
in which they must evolve." What he means basically is that 
the Latin American Jewish writers are an inseparable part of 
their respective national literatures. Their acknowledgment of 
their Jewishness resides in their perception of themselves as 
Uruguayan, Brazilian, Mexican, Venezuelan, Chilean, or Ar- 
gentine writers whose works and thought integrally include a 
Jewish thematic variation, which may be more or less frequent, 
more or less intense, and can be formulated and reelaborated 
in an infinite variety of ways. The Jewish variation cannot be 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



isolated from the totality which gives it meaning, nor placed 
in a hierarchy to the detriment of the totality Nevertheless, 
Latin American Jewish writers, in order to consolidate their 
respective identities as Latin American writers, also have to 
take their positions as Jews. In their work, Jewish and Latin 
American themes, far from constituting an irreconcilable an- 
tithesis, as is often alleged by explicitly antisemitic and implic- 
itly discriminatory theses, have become strongly complemen- 
tary and inseparable. 

For many years, in the Latin American cultural arena, the 
need for an alternative was solicited equally zealously by both 
the nationalist right and the Marxist- Leninist left: strictly spe- 
cific characteristics, such as those implicit to the Jewish con- 
dition, were to be merged into the national identity (right) or 
the international proletariat identity (left). Considered "for- 
eign" by the former and "reactionary" by the latter until well 
into the 1970s, Judaism seemed to have no future as a varia- 
tion in the composite profile of the Latin American writer. 
However, the situation began to change in the 1970s. Gov- 
ernment terrorism, which raged in every corner of the conti- 
nent, but with an especially bloody genocide in the southern 
tip of Latin America, gave rise to a new phenomenon in the 
region - a diaspora. This bitter experience strongly paralleled 
Jewish memories. 

Discrimination, censorship, persecution, torture, im- 
prisonment, and death were practiced with systematic tenac- 
ity by the successive dictatorships, especially against anyone 
daring to challenge the regime in force; fearing for their lives, 
many fled their country or even the continent. Jewish writ- 
ers naturally drew parallels between past and present. At the 
same time, the seeds of today's Communist crisis were already 
present. Against this background, the meaning of Judaism, as 
a constituent element of the personal and historic identity of 
so many writers, underwent an intense process of redefini- 
tion, inspired not only by the suffering but also by its dialectic 
complement - the spirit of struggle, the capacity to confront 
adversity. Judaism was beginning to be seen as a determined 
demand for pluralism, for democratic ideals, for a thirst for 
dialogue, in open opposition to dogmatism and contempt 
for differentness. Beyond its possible adherence to theologi- 
cal arguments and religious options of one kind or another, 
Judaism was conceived, by contemporary Latin American 
writers, as a moving metaphor of their own experience, and 
was thus ultimately acknowledged as an inalienable part of 
an individual identity. 

"In the countries of Latin America, which have experi- 
enced a repression unprecedented in their history, survival - 
perhaps the basic motif of all Jewish literature - has obviously 
played a major role" (Saul Sosnowski). And "it is under identi- 
cal circumstances that some Jewish motifs have become pre- 
cision instruments in interpreting a reality that centuries of 
persecution and exile have imprinted in the cultural tradition 
of the historic Jew" (Saul Sosnowski). 

In addition to the decisive theme of survival, other fun- 
damental themes began to appear in poetry, fiction, and 

drama. Man's dialogue with God, with its innumerable varia- 
tions, the sufferings imposed by prejudice and intolerance, 
the intensity of nostalgia, exile and its indelible shadow, 
the meaning of death, the value of memory, mysticism, the 
warmth of family life, the immigrant origin, the Jewish hol- 
idays and history, the unexpected recording of one's own 
life as an "immigrant," and the presence and ethical and 
even esthetic weight of tradition, all to a great extent shape 
the repertory of themes which, in numerous forms, run 
through Latin American Jewish literature. And just as Euro- 
pean or North American Jewish literature, for instance, have 
distinctive traits, specific only to a country or a continent, 
so Latin American Jewish literature has its own, unique char- 
acteristics. Its treatment of proverbially Jewish questions 
has an unmistakably Latin American emphasis, in that the 
Jewish models are presented through the subjective, social, 
and historic experience of the countries of Latin America, 
with their specific conflicts, resources, and conditions. The 
Jewish statement is made through the Spanish and Portu- 
guese languages, with their own cultural imprint, and thereby 
receives a specific bias - accorded by the distinctive intonation 
of the language in every country and region where it is spo- 
ken. This intonation is not only that of the language's rhythm, 
its euphony, but also that of its semantic weave, which, in each 
locality, and in each consciousness, links the repertoire of 
resources offered by the language to its users, giving birth to 
that fertile "hybrid" condition noted by writer Ricardo Feier- 
stein; and to the theme which, among so many other nation- 
alities, both incorporates the Jewish element in, and separates 
it from, the Bolivian, Peruvian, Colombian, or Cuban ele- 
ment and elegantly frames a Jewish individuality which, while 
obviously related to others, is not one of them. This "hy- 
bridism" is simply the permanent interweaving of two origi- 
nally separate traditions - the Jewish and Latin American, 
which, through the meeting of circumstances, ultimately 
shaped a new expression. The value and quality of this pos- 
sibility of expression characterizes Latin American Jewish 

In other words, Spanish and Portuguese are not the lan- 
guages into which the universal nature of Judaism is trans- 
lated, but the means through which it is constituted and con- 
ceived in Latin America. Based in these languages, Jewish 
poetry, fiction, and drama, as well as essays and critical re- 
views, are seen as the highest grade of conceptual elaboration 
which Jewish experience has attained in Latin America. While 
Latin American Jews do not have to be aware of this in order 
to be what they are, it is no less true that this knowledge con- 
stitutes for them a privileged resource for a greater and better 
understanding of their identity. 

Since the reestablishment of democratic institutions in 
the 1980s, in particular, Latin American Jewry has encoun- 
tered a fertile terrain in which to shape itself, demonstrating 
that a complete manifestation of the universality of Jewish 
values is possible only when inspired by a concrete historic 
circumstance. It is in the light of their experience as Latin 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Americans that the validity of the meaning of Jewishness can 
be projected in the contemporary world. Every literary work, 
beyond its value as a comparative model, expresses that mo- 
ment of luminous encounter between past and present which 
imbues the experience it describes, the statement it makes, 
with both an individual, specific, and even regional nuance, 
and an archetypal, metaphoric, and revealing dimension 
whose symbolic stature is universal. In this way the yesterday 
of previous generations who sustained, enjoyed, and suffered 
the Jewish condition, becomes the today shaped by our cir- 
cumstances, which are no less worrying or fascinating than 
those of the past. Through looking at the past one learns to see 
those who observe from the present; observations of the pres- 
ent bring to the acknowledgment of the validity of this millen- 
nia-old message. Latin American Jewish literature proves this 
eloquently. It is one of the basic indications of Latin American 
Jewry's intense desire to attain self-understanding. Indeed, to 
a very great extent literary activity in the 1980s evidenced the 
resolute initiative and great persistency of this community 
in examining its condition. Among the events demonstrat- 
ing this orientation should be noted: two encounters of Latin 
American Jewish writers held in Buenos Aires in 1986 and in 
1988; the proliferation of poetry, fiction, and essays, which 
join together with remarkable elegance the double source of 
personal identity - Jewish and Latin American; the appear- 
ance of Noajy the first Jewish literary review in Spanish and 
Portuguese edited in Israel; the creation, also in Israel, of a 
Jewish writers' association in both languages. All these proved 
decisive acts and showed the extent of Latin American Jewry's 
eagerness for self- exploration and self-expression. Certainly 
it is not by chance that all these developments were taking 
place at a time when the values of political democracy were 
being progressively restored. Democracy is the most propi- 
tious condition for the institution of pluralism; and Judaism, 
freed from the oppressive yoke placed upon it by totalitarian 
thinking, finds itself with an auspicious opportunity to say 
and affirm what it is, and to begin once again to question its 

own meaning. 

[Santiago Ezequiel Kovadloff] 

bibliography: L. Magnus, in: E.R. Bevan and C. Singer 
(eds.), Legacy of Israel (1927), 483-505; R. Cansinos Assens, Losjudios 
en la literatura espanola (1937); J.RW. Crawford, Spanish Drama Before 
Lope de Vega (1937); A. Portnoy, Losjudios en la literatura espanola 
medieval (1942); S. Resnick, Cinco ensayos sobre temas judios (1943); 
R.A. Arrieta, Historia de la literatura argentina, 6 vols. (1958-60), 
incl. bibl.; A. Wiznitzer, Jews in Colonial Brazil (i960), incl. bibl.; 
J. Caro Baroja, Los judios en la espana moderna y contempordnea, 
3 vols. (1962), incl. bibl.; C. Lafer, O Judeu em Gil Vicente (1963); 
Baer, Spain; E. Weinfeld, in: Judaica (Buenos Aires, Jan. 1944), 1-13; 
S. Resnick, in: Hispania, 34, no. 1 (1951), 54-58; E. Glaser, in: Nueva 
revista de Filologia Hispdnica, 8 (1954), 39-62; F. Lehner, in: L. Fin- 
kelstein (ed.), The Jews, Their History, Culture and Religion, 2 (i960), 
1472-86; Echad: An Anthology of Latin American Jewish Writings, ed. 
by R. and R. Kalechofsky (1980); D. McGrady, Jorge Isaacs (1972); K. 
Schwartz, in: The American Hispanist (Sept. 1977), 9-12; E. Aizenberg, 
in: Anuario de letras (Mexico), 15 (1977), 197-215; idem, in: Revista 
Iberoamericana, 46 (1980), 533-44. 

SPARROW (Heb. "im "li3S> zippor deror or TTH, deror, but 
sometimes the word zippor "bird" refers to the sparrow), the 
Passer domesticus biblicus, the house sparrow, which is the 
most common bird in Israel during all seasons of the years. It 
"dwells in the house as in the field" and its name zippor deror 
("free bird") is explained by the fact that "it does not submit 
to authority" (Bezah 24a); and, despite the fact that it lives in 
populated areas, it cannot be domesticated. It nests in the in- 
terstices of rooftops and stone walls. It is referred to as nest- 
ing between the stones of the Temple (Ps. 84:4), and to this 
day some make their nests between the stones of the * West- 
ern Wall. It possesses the characteristics of a kasher bird (see 
^Dietary Laws) and there are Jewish communities which per- 
mit it for food. "Two zipporim" were used for the purification 
ceremony of the leper (Lev. 14:4) and for the house cleansed 
from leprosy (ibid., 14:49); according to the Mishnah (Neg. 
14:1) zipporei deror, i.e., house sparrows, are meant. Some 
would identify the deror with the swallow, but the descrip- 
tions of the deror in rabbinical literature leave no doubt that 
it refers to the sparrow. 

bibliography: Lewysohn, Zool, 187 (no. 237), 206-9 (nos. 
256 and 257); F.S. Bodenheimer, Animal and Man in Bible Lands 
(i960), 56, 119, 120 (no. 20); J. Feliks, Animal World of the Bible (1962), 
61. add. bibliography: J. Feliks, Ha-Zomeah, 222. 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

SPARTA, city in Greece; ancient city-state in the Peloponne- 
sus, called Mistra in Crusader times. The earliest information 
on the relations between Sparta and the Jews is the letter said 
to have been sent by Areus, king of Sparta (309-265 b.c.e.), to 
the high priest *Onias 1 (1 Mace. 12:20-23). I n this letter Areus 
sends his greetings to the Jews and proposes a full alliance in 
the words, "your cattle and goods are ours, and ours yours." 
It also refers to a written tradition that the two peoples are of 
the stock of Abraham (cf. Jos., Ant., 14:255; see *Pergamum). 
This was apparently included in one of those books dealing 
with the genealogy of the various nations, which were wide- 
spread in the Hellenistic era, or it may have been based on the 
well-known work of *Hecateus of Abdera. It is possible that 
the contemporary political situation, the relations between 
the *Ptolemies and Sparta on the one hand and the Jews on 
the other (idem, 109) forms the background to this alliance, 
as well as perhaps some sympathy of ideas (cf. Y. Baer, in: 
Zion 17 (1952), 35). Josephus, who quotes the text of the let- 
ter (Ant. 12:22-26), adds some details which do not appear 
in 1 Maccabees. 1 Maccabees (12:6-18) also quotes a letter of 
Jonathan the Hasmonean to the Spartans and (14:20-23) a let- 
ter of the Spartans to Simeon the Hasmonean. Some scholars 
regard these letters as either wholly or in part fictitious (see 
KM. Abel, Les Livres des Maccabees (1949), 231-3). Corrobo- 
rating evidence for these relations is to be found in 11 Macca- 
bees (5:9) which describes the flight of the high priest Jason 
to Sparta because its people were close to his. The inhabitants 
of Sparta are also mentioned in 1 Maccabees (15:23), but it is 
doubtful whether the existence of a Jewish settlement can be 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



inferred from there, as some scholars have attempted to do. 
There is no explicit mention of a Jewish settlement in Sparta, 
though Jews were living in the Peloponnesus during the first 
century c.e. (Philo, Legatio and Gaium, 281). 

[Uriel Rappaport] 

During the tenth century there were Jews in Sparta; 
they were engaged in commerce. When a plague broke out in 
Sparta, the monk Nikon (10 th century) refused to come to the 
villages aid as long as the Jews, who were an obstacle in the 
spreading of Christianity, were not expelled. His incitement 
was without effect. The presence of Jews is mentioned during 
the reigns of the Palaeologi emperors (1261-1453). When Si- 
gismondo Malatesta conquered Mistra in 1465, he burnt down 
the Jewish quarter. There is evidence of the presence of Jews 
again during the 16 th and 17 th centuries. They were engaged in 
the silk industry and in commerce. The French author Cha- 
teaubriand, who visited Greece in 1806, mentions the Jewish 
quarter of Sparta. During the Greek Revolution (1821-1829), 
the Albanians, who invaded Peloponnesus, destroyed the Jew- 
ish community. 

[Simon Marcus] 

bibliography: F.R. de Chateaubriand, Itineraire de Paris a 
Jerusalem, 1 (1859), 161, 166; M. Schwab, Rapport sur une Mission de 
Philologie en Grece (1913), ii7f.; A. Andreades, in: Economic History, 
3 (!934 - 37)> 1-23; Rosanes, Togarmah, 3 (1938), 129-200. 

SPATH, JOHANN PETER (Moses Germanus; 1642/45- 
1701), German Christian Hebraist who converted to Judaism. 
Spath was born either in Augsburg or in Vienna between 1642 
and 1645 to a Roman Catholic family. He became a teacher in 
a Protestant family and this contact made him question his 
own faith. Influenced by the Protestant theologian Philipp 
Jacob Spener (1635-1705), Spath converted to the Lutheran 
church and he became a follower of Spener. His religious 
doubts, however, did not weaken. On the contrary, he became 
disappointed because of the controversy among the Luther- 
ans, and this made him decide in 1681 to return to the Roman 
Catholic Church. However, he continued to have doubts. Sev- 
eral years later Spath appeared to be living in Amsterdam, 
where he met people from various religious movements such 
as the Mennonites, the Collegiants, and the Socians. During 
that period, he converted once again to become a Quaker. 
Thus he came into contact with the Christian Hebraist and 
Kabbalah scholar Francis Mercury of Helmont (1614-1699). 
At that time, Spath moved to Sulzbach to help with a Latin 
translation and the publication of a large corpus of Kabbal- 
istic texts. 

The chronological records of the subsequent years are 
not very clear, but in 1696 we find Spath in Amsterdam once 
again, where he officially converted to Judaism. From then on 
he was known as Moses Germanus. A year later he was cir- 
cumcised and was accepted into the Portuguese -Jewish com- 
munity in Amsterdam. He had previously married a Jewish 
woman, and was appointed as a teacher. Spath died in Am- 
sterdam on April 27, 1701. 

His conversion to Judaism caused the customary scandal 
in those days. Many of his contemporary Christian scholars 
expressed their disapproval of the facts. The most complete 
record of his life and his conversion written at that time is 
to be found in the work of Johann Jacob Schudt (1664-1722) 
entitled Judische Merckwiirdigkeiten (= Jewish curiosities) in 
which he also talks about the dismay of the Christian schol- 
ars. Spath defended his conversion in a number of letters ad- 
dressed to scholars in his area. 

A great deal of that correspondence has been preserved, 
such as several letters to Johannes Leusden (1624-1699) dat- 
ing from the period in which Spath converted, addressed by 
Leusden to Moses Germanus Judaus. 

bibliography: J.J. Schudt, Judische Merckwiirdigkeiten, vor- 
stellende was sich Curieuses und Denckwiirdiges in den neuern Zeiten 
bey einigen Jahrhunderten mit Denen in alle iv Theilen der Welt, 
sonderlich durch Teutschland zerstreuten Jiiden zugetragen, sammt 
einer vollstandigen Franckfurter Juden-Chronik, darinnen der zu 
Franckfurt am Mayn wohnenden Jiiden von einigen Jahrhunderten, 
biss auff unseren Zeiten, 4 vols. (1714-1718); H.J. Schoeps, Philosemi- 
tismus im Barock. Religions- und Geistesgeschichtliche Untersuchungen 
(1952), 81-87; idem, Barocke Juden - Christen - Judenchristen (1965), 
83-92; A. P. Coudert and J.S. Shoulson, Hebraica Veritas? Christian 
Hebraists and the Study of Judaism in Early Modern Europe (2004); 
A. P. Coudert, in: M. Mulshow and R.H. Popkin (eds.), Secret Conver- 
sions to Judaism in Early Modern Europe (2004). 

[Monika Saelemaekers (2 nd ed.)] 

SPECTER, ARLEN (1930- ), U.S. senator, chairman of the 
Judiciary Committee. Spector was born in Kansas, the son 
of Russian immigrants. His family moved to Russell, Kan- 
sas, the home town of another United States senator, Robert 
Dole. Specter was educated at the University of Oklahoma, 
and transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where he 
received his B.A. (1951). He was in the Air Force from 1951 
to 1953 during the Korean War. He returned to attend Yale 
Law School, where he edited the law journal and graduated 
in 1956. 

He served as assistant district attorney in Philadelphia as 
a Democrat from 1959 to 1963 and then went to Washington, 
where he was assistant counsel to the Warren Commission 
investigating the assassination of President John F. * Kennedy. 
He devised the single bullet theory, contending that one bul- 
let hit the president and Texas Governor John Connally, who 
was riding in the limousine and was also wounded. He sought 
the Democratic nomination for district attorney but was re- 
buffed by the Democratic machine so he ran as a Republican 
reform candidate and won an upset victory. He narrowly lost 
the race for mayor of Philadelphia the next year. He served 
for eight years as district attorney and then suffered a series 
of political losses that ordinarily doom a political candidate. 
Specter lost a race for district attorney in 1973; he lost for the 
U.S. Senate in 1976 and lost for governor in 1978. He won the 
1980 race in the Reagan landslide and then proceeded to vote 
against the Reagan Administration more often than any other 
Republican senator. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


He played a major role during the Iran- Contra hearing, 
where his talent as a cross examiner came into play again. 
He concluded that the intelligence system was in need of an 
overhaul and proposed the creation of an inspector general 
of the cia. His role on the Senate Judiciary Committee was 
controversial vis-a-vis his Republican colleagues. He voted 
against Robert Bork for the Supreme Court. He was an ardent 
defender of Judge Clarence Thomas' nomination to the Su- 
preme Court and an intense interrogator of Anita Hill, whom 
he accused of perjury. His performance did not endear him 
to women. In 1996 he was a candidate for president, but with- 
drew before the first primary as it was clear that the Republi- 
can Party was not going to nominate a pro-choice Republican 
moderate. After Orrin Hatch completed his six years as chair- 
man, Specter was in line to become chairman of the Judiciary 
Committee, a move opposed by some Republican colleagues, 
who were fearful of his moderation and his support of abor- 
tion. He further enraged his colleagues by warning the admin- 
istration not to appoint someone who was going to overturn 
Roe v. Wade. He was forced to clarify - some say disavow - 
his statement. Surrounded by his Republican Judiciary Com- 
mittee colleagues, he said: "I have no reason to believe that I 
will be unable to support any individual President Bush finds 
worthy." In addition to tackling the major legislative business 
before the Senate in 2005, Specter also engaged in a personal 
battle with Stage ivb Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer. He under- 
went nearly five months of chemotherapy but still maintained 
all of his senatorial duties, including chairing hearings, vot- 
ing, and brokering important legislative initiatives. On July 22, 
2005, Specter received his last chemotherapy treatment and 
subsequently received a clean bill of health. 

In 2005 and early 2006 his leadership was tested in the 
nomination of John Roberts to be chief justice of the Supreme 
Court, the nomination and withdrawal of nomination of Har- 
riet Miers, and finally the nomination of Samuel Alito as as- 
sociate justice. His wife, Joan, is a former City Council mem- 
ber in Philadelphia. 

bibliography: K.F. Stone, The Congressional Minyan: The 

Jews of Capitol Hill (2000); L.S. Maisels and I. Forman (eds.), Jews in 

American Politics (2001). 

[Michael Berenbaum (2 nd ed.)] 

SPECTOR, JOHANNA (1920- ), U.S. ethno-musicologist, 
filmmaker, and educator. Johanna Spector was born and grew 
up in Latvia where her husband, Robert Spector, was killed 
by the Nazis in 1941. She spent the war years in concentration 
camps. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1947. She received her 
doctorate in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College 
(Cincinnati, 1950) and obtained a masters degree in anthro- 
pology from Columbia University in i960. She was a research 
fellow at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem (1951-53) and until 
1957 she spent half the year in Israel, undertaking fieldwork 
on the Yemenite, Kurdish, and Samaritan communities. In 
1954 she joined the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, 
and founded its department of ethno-musicology in 1962, be- 

coming associate professor in 1966 and full professor in 1970. 
In the course of her research in Jewish music, she made an 
extensive collection of recordings. Her personal archive of 
11,000 tape recordings includes Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Sa- 
maritan, Yemenite, and Indian (Cochin and Bombay) music of 
Jewish communities. They are accompanied by thousands 
of photographs, and later films from which she made docu- 
mentaries, particularly on the Yemenites and Samaritans; she 
published several studies on them. A large part of her col- 
lection is at the National Archives of the Hebrew University. 
She helped to found the Society for the Preservation of Sa- 
maritan Culture and the Friends of the Samaritan Museum 
in 1968, with the object of establishing a museum at Shechem 


[Amnon Shiloah (2 nd ed.)] 

SPECTOR, MORDECAI (1858-1925), Yiddish novelist and 
editor. Born in Uman, Ukraine, of a hasidic family, he came 
under the influence of Haskalah literature and began to write 
realistic sketches based on his personal experiences and ob- 
servations of ordinary people in workshops and marketplaces. 
A. *Zederbaum, editor of the St. Petersburg Folksblat, 
published Spector s first novel in weekly installments under 
the title Roman On a Nomen ("Novel without a Title," 1883). 
Spector later became assistant editor of this paper. His sec- 
ond novel, Der Yidisher Muzhik ("The Jewish Farmer," 1884), 
aroused great interest since it advocated the return of Jews to 
productive labor on their ancestral soil, a doctrine then prop- 
agated by the Hovevei Zion. Spector also influenced *Shalom 
Aleichem to set his literary sights on the provinces and on 
shtetl life, then a neglected area in Yiddish literature. In 1887, 
he settled in Warsaw, where, during the following decade, 
he reached the height of his fame, writing feuilletons, travel 
sketches, short stories, and novels, and editing a series of an- 
thologies, Der Hoyzfraynd ("The Family Friend"), a landmark 
in the development of modern Yiddish literature. In 1894, to- 
gether with I.L. *Peretz and D. *Pinski, he launched the Yon- 
tev Bletlekh ("Holiday Leaflets"), another literary landmark. 
Other literary ventures followed during the ensuing two de- 
cades. After the Communist Revolution, he experienced hard- 
ships in Odessa. He escaped in 1920, and arrived in the U.S. in 
1921. Living in New York, he completed a volume of memoirs, 
Mayn Lebn ("My Life," 1927), which has great literary, histori- 
cal, and cultural value. Spector was a writer for the masses, 
whom he tried to entertain, educate, and uplift. Though nei- 
ther an original thinker nor a subtle psychologist, he was an 
excellent observer of reality, faithfully reproducing the col- 
loquial speech of Jewish men and women in their homes, 
shops, and alleys. He was a pioneer of Yiddish folklore and 
of Yiddish writing for children, and was one of the first Yid- 
dish writers to take a positive attitude toward Hasidism. His 
collected works appeared in 10 volumes (1927-29). His stories 
have been translated into eight languages, including English 
(cf. I. Howe and E. Greenberg, ed. A Treasury of Yiddish Sto- 
ries (i953)> 250-5). 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



bibliography: Spektor-Bukh (1929), incl. bibl.; Rejzen, Lek- 

sikon, 2 (1927), 691-708; lnyl, 6 (1965), 518-27; Dertseylers un Ro- 

manistn (1946), 11-129; S. Niger, Bleter Geshikhte fun der Yidisher 

Literatur (1959), 382-403; Y. Yeshurin, in: M. Spektor, Der Yidisher 

Muzhik (1963), 264-8. add. bibliography: D. Roskies,A Bridge 

of Longing (1995), 170-2. 

[Moshe Starkman] 

SPECTOR, NORMAN (1949- ), Canadian diplomat, public 
servant, and media commentator. Spector was born and raised 
in Montreal, where he attended Talmud Torah and Herzliah 
day schools, worked part time as a packer for Steinberg's gro- 
cery chain, and graduated from McGill University After ob- 
taining his doctorate in political science from Columbia and a 
masters degree in communications from Syracuse, he taught 
for a year at the University of Ottawa in 1974-75 before taking 
a position in the Ontario Ministry of Communications. 

Spector moved to British Columbia, where he served as 
deputy minister to Social Credit Premier Bill Bennett from 
1982 to 1986. He was heavily involved in the government's bat- 
tle with labor unions. His talents and fluency in French drew 
him to employment in the federal government, and he became 
secretary to the cabinet for federal-provincial relations in 1986, 
then chief of staff to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1990. 
Spector became one in a series of Jews who held very senior 
positions with Canadian prime ministers of different political 
stripe. These include Mel Cappe, Eddie Goldenberg, Stanley 
Hartt, Chaviva Hosek, Hugh Segal, and David Zussman. In 
Ottawa Spector played a major role in negotiating the unsuc- 
cessful 1987 Meech Lake Accord, which would have had Que- 
bec accept the Canadian Constitution passed by the Trudeau 
Liberals in 1982. In 1992 Spector became Canadian ambassa- 
dor to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. As Canada's first 
Jewish ambassador to Israel, and as someone not from the 
ranks of the diplomatic corps, his appointment caused some 
opposition within the established foreign service community. 
Spector proved evenhanded and studied Arabic to go along 
with his fluency in Hebrew. 

Returning to Canada in 1995, Spector became president 
of the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency and an execu- 
tive with Imperial Tobacco. He returned to Israel briefly in 
1997 as publisher of The Jerusalem Post. Following his tenure 
at The Jerusalem Posthe settled in Victoria, British Columbia. 
He remains a frequent columnist for The Globe and Mail and 
commentator on Canadian television news, often on Middle 
East affairs. In 2003 he published Chronicle of a War Foretold: 
How Mideast Peace Became America's Fight, based on his ar- 
ticles in the Middle East. 

[Morton Weinfeld (2 nd ed.)] 

SPECTOR, PHIL (Harvey Philip; 1940- ), vastly influen- 
tial rock music producer, who produced, arranged, and co- 
wrote some of rock & roll's earliest classic tunes in the late 
1950s and early 1960s; member of the Rock and Roll Hall of 
Fame. Spector was born in the Bronx to Bertha and Benjamin, 

a Russian Jewish immigrant who committed suicide in 1949. 
Spector, his mother, and sister, Shirley, moved to Los Angeles 
in 1953, where Spector quickly proved proficient on numer- 
ous instruments and became acquainted with L.A. rhythm 
and blues musicians, including songwriters Jerry * Leiber and 
Mike *Stoller, with whom he would later collaborate on the 
No. 1 hit "Spanish Harlem." By 1958, having secured a small 
recording contract, Spector wrote and performed what be- 
came his first No. 1 hit, "To Know Him Is To Love Him," in- 
spired by words written on his father's gravestone. In i960, 
having apprenticed himself to Los Angeles music veterans, 
including Lee Hazlewood, Spector began producing numer- 
ous pop singles for journeyman singers. Two years later, hav- 
ing become a millionaire from "Spanish Harlem" and other 
early hits, Spector developed his own, innovative production 
method. Later known as the "Wall of Sound," Spector massed 
Los Angeles musicians and instruments into elaborate ar- 
rangements that produced pop classics of undisputed emo- 
tional and sonic impact. The lyrics for Spector's songs were 
often produced by the mainly Jewish songwriting teams Car- 
ole *King and Gerry Goffin, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, 
and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. His hits included "Be My 
Baby," by the Ronettes, and "Da Doo Ron Ron," by the Crys- 
tals, both "girl groups," a genre Spector is credited with hav- 
ing defined. The Ronettes were led by Veronica "Ronnie" Ben- 
nett, later one of Spector's three wives. In 1965, "You've Lost 
That Loving Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers reached No. 
1, despite being nearly four minutes long - one- third longer 
than the accepted standard. Spector got around that rule by 
deliberately misprinting the song's time on the record's label. 
Spector's rule of the charts faded after that, and he went into 
self-imposed exile. He repeated his success in the early 1970s 
with individual members of the Beatles, producing memorable 
albums for George Harrison (All Things Must Pass) and John 
Lennon (Plastic Ono Band), but Spector earned the longstand- 
ing enmity of Beatle Paul McCartney for adding strings, horns, 
and chorus to the uncompleted tapes of the Beatles' Let Lt Be 
album. He was named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 
1989. Spector's litigious and eccentric behavior tarnished his 
reputation, and he was accused of pulling weapons on sev- 
eral of his artists, including Leonard *Cohen, with whom he 
worked in the 1970s. In 2003, an actress was found shot dead 
in Spector's Los Angeles home, and he was slated to stand trial 

for murder in 2006. 

[Alan D. Abbey (2 nd ed.)] 

SPEISER, EPHRAIM AVIGDOR (1902-1965), U.S. Orien- 
talist and archaeologist. Born in Skalat, Galicia, Speiser emi- 
grated to the United States (1920). In 1926-27 he surveyed 
northern Iraq, discovering Tepe Gawra, whose excavation, 
along with that of the adjacent Tell Billa, he directed during 
1930-32 and 1936-37. In 1927 Speiser taught comparative Se- 
mitics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 1928 to 
the end of his life he lectured in Semitic languages and litera- 
tures at the University of Pennsylvania. During World War 11, 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Speiser served as the chief of the Near East section of the Re- 
search and Analysis Branch of the Office of Strategic Services. 
From 1955 he was a key member of the translation committee 
of the Jewish Publication Society of America that produced a 
new English version of the To rah (1962). 

Speiser was one of the pioneers in the discovery of the 
*Hurrians and their culture. He clarified the scope and sig- 
nificance of the Hurrian component in Western Asia during 
the second millennium b.c.e. and investigated the structure 
of their language in the still standard Introduction to Hurrian 
(1941). In The United States and the Near East (1947, 1950 2 ) 
he illuminated the modern problems of the region by his ex- 
pert knowledge of its long history. Speiser s philological and 
synthetic studies in Mesopotamian civilization displayed its 
values, with emphasis upon the centrality of law and the in- 
fluence of Mesopotamian legal conceptions on peripheral 
peoples, including Israel. During the last decade of his life he 
devoted much time to the origin of Israel's history and faith. 
He regarded these as both a reflex of, and a critical reaction to, 
the Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures from which Israel 
emerged. His biblical research culminated in the volume on 
Genesis in the Anchor Bible (1964). 

Speiser s scholarly, humanistic, and professional dis- 
tinction was nationally recognized. He was a president of the 
American Oriental Society, a member of the American Phil- 
osophical Society, and a fellow of the American Academy for 
Jewish Research. 

bibliography: D.D. Finkelstein and M. Greenberg (eds.), 

Oriental and Biblical Studies: Collected Writings ofE.A. Speiser (1967), 

587-616; J.B. Pritchard et al. in: basor, 79 (1965), 2-7; M. Greenberg, 

in: jaos, 88 (1968), 1-2. 

[Moshe Greenberg] 

SPEKTOR, ISAAC ELHANAN (1817-1896), Lithuanian 
rabbi. Spektor was born in the province of Grodno, Russia, 
and one of his teachers was Benjamin Diskin. After serving 
as rabbi in various towns, Spektor went to Kovno, where he 
officiated until his death. In Kovno he attained eminence as a 
rabbinic authority and established a yeshivah (kolel avrekhim) 
for the training of outstanding rabbis. He was unsuccessful in 
his struggle to obtain official recognition for rabbis who were 
not government appointees. On the other hand he struggled 
successfully against a law requiring an official examination in 
Russian from Jewish teachers and also secured the withdrawal 
of a government decree prohibiting Jewish instruction in the 
heder. At Spektor s instigation Samson Raphael *Hirsch wrote 
his book on the relationship of the Talmud to Judaism, which 
was submitted to the Russian government. He supported Isaac 
*Dembo of Petersburg in his successful campaign against the 
ban on shehitah in Russia. He frequently organized aid for 
stricken communities in Russia, Lithuania, and other coun- 
tries. Individuals and communities in distress, from all areas 
of Jewish settlement, turned to him. He sought government 
permission for the provision of kasher food to Jewish soldiers, 
and maintained a soup kitchen in Kovno until his death. He 

was the only rabbi invited to the conference of Jewish leaders 
held in St. Petersburg (Leningrad) in 1881-82 to discuss the 
deteriorating position of the Jews. He later dispatched a mani- 
festo to David *Asher, secretary of the chief rabbi of London, 
which resulted in protest meetings being held in England, 
France, Italy, and the U.S. These meetings, whose resolutions 
were submitted to the Russian government, attracted much 
publicity and led to the establishment of welfare funds. In later 
years he made similar pleas and participated in subsequent 
conferences of Jewish leaders, maintaining confidential con- 
tact with influential Jewish circles. 

With the increasing Jewish emigration from Russia, he 
supported the efforts of the Hovevei Zion movement, thereby 
adding greatly to the movements prestige. The preparatory 
meetings for the appointment of representatives to the *Kat- 
towitz conference were held in his home, two delegates being 
appointed, though he refused to accept nomination as hon- 
orary trustee at the Hovevei Zion conference held in Druski- 
ninkai in 1887. After the movement was given official recog- 
nition, he publicly proclaimed the religious duty of settling in 
Erez Israel, signing an appeal for the collection of funds for 
this purpose in synagogues on the eve of the Day of Atone- 
ment. On the question of agricultural labor in Erez Israel in 
a shemittah ("sabbatical") year, he favored its permission by 
the nominal sale of land to a non-Jew, a measure which is 
employed to the present day. His ban on Corfu etrogim en- 
abled the Palestinian variety to enter the market. He also 
concerned himself with the amelioration of the spiritual and 
religious needs of Jewish settlers in Argentina and the U.S. 
Spektor won universal admiration for his broad-mindedness 
and peace-loving disposition. In 1889 he was elected an hon- 
orary member of the * Society for the Promotion of Culture 
among the Jews of Russia. He was frequently requested to 
serve as arbitrator. In a dispute over shehitah, referred to him 
from London in 1891, he supported the chief rabbi against the 
ultra- Orthodox element. 

His works are Beer Yizhak (1858; 1948 2 ); Nahal Yizhak (2 
pts., 1872-84); Ein Yizhak (2 pts., 1889-95); EzPeri (1881; 1903); 
Devar ha-Shemittah (1889). His letters have been printed in 
various collections. His works contain commentaries and no- 
vellae to the Shulhan Arukh, particularly responsa to ques- 
tions submitted to him from the various Jewish communities 
in which he was regarded as the leading authority of his gen- 
eration. Spektor exercised leniency, particularly in relieving 
the burden of many *agunot. His 158 responsa on this subject 
reveal only three cases where he could not find a basis for 
permitting the woman to remarry. Many Torah institutions, 
including the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 
New York, were named after him. 

bibliography: E. ShimofF, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Spektor 
(Eng. and Heb., 1961); J. Lipschitz, Toledot Yizhak (1896); L.P. Gart- 
ner, Jewish Immigrant in England, 18/0-1914 (i960), index; Mirsky, 
in: Guardians of our Heritage, ed. by L. Jung (1958), 301-15; A. Druy- 
anov, Katavim le-Toledot Hibbat Ziyyon..., 1 (1919), xiii (index); 2 
(1925), 28 (index); 3 (1932), 400-1; J. Nissenbaum, Ha-Dat ve-ha- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Tehiyyah ha-Leummit (1920), 130; J. Mark, Gedoylim fun Undzer 

Tsayt (1927), 105-24; J. Lipschitz, Zikhron Yaakov (1924-30), passim; 

Mirsky, in: Talpioth, 3 (1947/48), 121-5; Hill, ibid., 7 (i960), 558-81; 

J.L. Maimon, Lemaan Ziyyon Lo Ehesheh, 1 (1954), 34; S.B. Hoenig, 

in: jba, 28 (1970/71). 

[Geulah Bat Yehuda (Raphael)] 

SPELLING, AARON (1923-2006). U.S. television producer, 
writer, and actor. Born in Dallas, Texas, Spelling enlisted in 
the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942 and served in Europe during 
World War 11. He briefly worked as a reporter for the Army's 
newspaper, Stars and Stripes, and produced theatrical events 
for the Army's special services branch. After attending the 
University of Paris for one year, Spelling returned to Texas in 
1946 to study drama at Southern Methodist University under 
the gi Bill. There he wrote several plays, two of which took 
Eugene O'Neill Awards. After graduating in 1950, he directed 
local theater and then moved to Los Angeles, where he began 
acting in television programs. He returned to writing and in 
1956 sold a script, Unrelenting Sky, to Zone Grey Theater. Spell- 
ing continued writing for the program and in i960 was named 
producer of the series. He continued creating and producing 
shows, including The Lloyd Bridges Show (1962-63) and Burkes 
Law (1963-66). In 1968, Spelling hit it big with the action series 
The Mod Squad (1968-73), kicking off similar shows, such as 
The Rookies (1972-76), s.w.a.t. (1975-77), Starsky and Hutch 
(1975-79), and Charlies Angels (1976-81). In 1976, Spelling and 
Mike Nichols took a chance with Family (1976-80), but the 
Emmy- nominated series about a middle-class family that was a 
win with critics failed to find its audience. Spelling also sought 
to balance his lighter fare with socially responsible television 
movies, such as The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976) and The 
Best Little Girl in the World (1981). Riding high from his success 
with Charlies Angels, Spelling introduced shows that blended 
action with glitz, such as Love Boat (1977-84), Fantasy Island 
(1978-84), Vega$ (1978-81), and Hart to Hart (1979-84). In 1981, 
Spelling further refined his formula for commercial success by 
focusing on the trials and tribulations of the wealthy with Ho- 
tel (1983-88), Dynasty (1981-89), and its spin-off The Colbys 
(1985-87). His first feature film was the hit family comedy, Mr. 
Mom (1983). Just as the late 1980s saw a decline in Spelling's 
appeal, the launch of the Fox network helped reinvigorate his 
empire with more youth -oriented shows, such as Beverly Hills, 
90210 (1990-2000) and Melrose Place (1992-9). In 1993, Spell- 
ing produced hbo's And the Band Played On, an expose of the 
social, political, and personal realities of aids. After produc- 
ing more than 200 television shows, Spelling said he had found 
personal satisfaction in the success of y th Heaven (1996-2006), 
a television series about a functional religious family. 

bibliography: A. Spelling, in: St. James Encyclopedia of Pop- 
ular Culture, 5 vols. (2000); A. Spelling, in: Contemporary Authors 

Online (Thomson Gale, 2004). 

[Adam Wills (2 nd ed.)] 

SPELLMAN, FRANK (1922- ), weightlifter, Olympic and 
Maccabiah medalist, member of the U.S. Weightlifting Hall of 

Fame and the Helms Hall of Fame. Born in Malvern, Pennsyl- 
vania, Spellman was orphaned at the age of seven and raised 
in a Jewish orphanage in Philadelphia. Originally trained in 
track and gymnastics, in his late teens Spellman came under 
the tutelage of weightlifter Dan Leone, and in 1942 he won 
the U.S. junior middleweight title. In December of that year 
he was drafted into the Army Air Corps, where he served 
until his honorable discharge in December 1945. Spellman, 
who had maintained his training, returned to Pennsylvania 
and was accepted to the well-known York Barbell team. At 
the 1946 U.S. Amateur Athletic Union (aau) competition, he 
took first place in the middleweight division, and later that 
year finished 3 rd at the World Championships in Paris, while 
helping the American weightlifters win the world team title. 
In 1947, Spellman moved down a notch to second place at the 
aau Nationals, but moved up to second place at the World 
Championships in Philadelphia. Now at the peak of his form, 
in 1948 for the second time in his young career he won the aau 
middleweight national title. Then, as the No. 1 middleweight 
lifter for the U.S. Olympic team, Spellman won the gold medal 
at the 1948 London games. After 1948, Spellman remained a 
force in weightlifting, finishing in second place in the aau Na- 
tionals four times between 1949 and 1954. In addition, he won 
a gold medal at the 1950 Maccabiah games. Spellman did not 
compete in the national or world championships after 1954, 
though he did compete in the California State Championships, 
taking first place in 1954, 1957, and 1958. At the age of 38 and 
after a two-year hiatus from participation in any competitions, 
Spellman decided to close out his career by making one final 
appearance at the 1961 aau National Championships, in Santa 
Monica, California. To the surprise of many weightlifting en- 
thusiasts, Spellman overcame the odds to win the middle- 
weight division for his third U.S. title. Besides his champion- 
ship titles and two gold medals over the course of his 16 -year 
career, Spellman set four American records and two Olym- 
pic world records. From 1957 to 1961, Spellman was the coach 
and mentor of Carl Miller, who became a highly- acclaimed 
weightlifting and strength trainer. Spellman eventually settled 
in Florida, and was still lifting into his eighties and acting as 
an unofficial coach of aspiring weightlifters. 

[Robert B.Klein (2 nd ed.)] 

°SPENCER, JOHN (1630-1693), English theologian and He- 
braist. Spencer was master of Corpus Christi College, Cam- 
bridge, from 1667 onward and in 1677 became dean of Ely. He 
published a Dissertatio de Urim et Thummim (1669), a kind 
of prologue to his more famous work, De legibus Hebraeorum 
Ritualibus et earum Rationibus (1685), which laid the founda- 
tions of the science of comparative religion. In this work Spen- 
cer maintained that many Jewish laws and customs could be 
linked with those of other Semitic peoples, producing exam- 
ples from sacrificial rites, the Temple and its appurtenances, 
and the institution of the scapegoat. 

In the second work (2 vols., 1727), which only appeared 
years after his death, he expanded his thesis to include rabbinic 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


institutions (e.g., tefillin), basing much of his speculation on 
*Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed. A third edition of the 
work, also in two volumes, was published at Tuebingen in 1732. 
Some of Spencers writings appeared in Blasio Ugolino's The- 
saurus Antiquitatum Sacrarum (Venice, 1744-69). 

bibliography: CM. Pfaff, in: J. Spencer, DeLegibus... (Tue- 
bingen, 1732); W.R. Smith, Religion of the Semites (1956), v-xi; J. Gutt- 
mann, in: Festschrift .. . D. Simonsen (1923), 258-76. add. bibliog- 
raphy: odnb online. 

SPERBER, DAN (1942- ), French social and cognitive sci- 
entist. His father was the Galician-born novelist and essayist 
Manes Sperber. Born in France, Dan Sperber was educated at 
the Sorbonne, where he earned a Licence es Lett res in 1962, 
and at Oxford, where he received a B.Litt. in 1968. The direc- 
tor of research at the Centre National de Recherches Scienti- 
fiques (cnrs) in Paris, Sperber was well known for his work 
in developing what he terms an "epidemiology of representa- 
tions" in his naturalistic theory of culture. 

Sperber s early research focused on the anthropology of 
religion from the perspective of innate mental structures; he 
argues that these structures have played an important role in 
the development of religious beliefs and in the way that beliefs 
"fixate" in the human mind and are "extraordinarily catching." 
His studies of linguistics, experimental psychology, the phi- 
losophy of science, and evolutionary biology led to his further 
exploration of cultural theory, using a naturalistic approach 
linked to evolution. His works include Rethinking Symbolism 
(1975); On Anthropological Knowledge (1985); and Explaining 
Culture: A Naturalistic Approach (1996). His "epidemiology of 
representations," which may be conceived as a "contagion" of 
ideas, concerns the processes of replication and transforma- 
tion of cultural beliefs, which Sperber likens to models of the 
transmission of disease. 

Sperber also developed, with British linguist Deirdre Wil- 
son, a cognitive approach to communication that has become 
known as "relevance theory." Their 1986 work, Relevance: Com- 
munication and Cognition, has received much attention; their 
theory, though influential, has also generated controversy, as 
has Sperber s "epidemiology of representations." In Relevance, 
the authors argue that human cognition relies on perceived 
relevance: that humans pay attention only to information that 
seems relevant. The work also approaches the study of reasoning 
by considering the role of contextual information, and questions 
contemporary views on the nature of verbal comprehension. 

Sperber was a visiting lecturer at several institutions, 
including Cambridge University, the British Academy, the 
London School of Economics, the Van Leer Institute in Jeru- 
salem, the University of Michigan, the University of Bologna, 
the University of Hong Kong, and the Institute for Advanced 

Study at Princeton University. 

[Dorothy Bauhoff (2 nd ed.)] 

SPERBER, DANIEL (1940- ), historian and Talmud scholar. 
Born in Wales in 1940, he moved to Israel after high school and 

studied at the Kol Torah and Hebron yeshivot. In the 1960s 
he studied the history of art at England's Courtauld Insti- 
tute. In 1978 he became a full professor of Talmud at Bar-Ilan 
University. He has written on economic history, as in Roman 
Palestine, 200-400: Money and Prices and in Roman Palestine. 
200-400: The Land and on Jewish art and history, Minhagei 
Israel (1998), Why Jews Do What They Do (1999), and the City 
in Roman Palestine (2001), among other topics. From 1985 he 
was a member of the Academy of the Hebrew Language. In 
1992 he received the Israel Prize for Jewish Studies. 

SPERBER, MANES (1905-1984), French author and editor. 
Born in Zablotov, Eastern Galicia, Sperber spent much of his 
youth in Vienna, where he was prominent in the *Ha-Shomer 
ha-Za'ir Zionist youth movement. He was assistant to the psy- 
chologist Alfred *Adler, whose life and work Sperber discussed 
in a study published in 1926. From 1927 to 1933 he taught psy- 
chology in Berlin and founded a psychological review. For 
some years he was an active communist, but finally left the 
party in 1937. After the Nazis came to power in Germany, he 
escaped to France. Later he became a director of the impor- 
tant French publishing house of Calmann-Levy and turned to 
literature, first writing in German and later in French. 

His main works were Et le Buisson Devint Cendre (1944; 
The Burned Bramble, 1951); Plus Profond que labime (1949; The 
Abyss, 1952); La Baie Perdue (1952; journey Without End, 1954), 
an epic of the underground; the essay Le Talon dAchille (1957; 
The Achilles Heel, 1959); and Man and His Deeds (1970), an al- 
ternative to the politics of the present. Like Arthur *Koestler, 
he depicts the moral collapse of the revolutionary edifice and 
the disillusionment of its architects. He parts company with 
Koestler when he propounds a positive attitude to Jewishness 
and is deeply immersed in Jewish culture. This is particularly 
noticeable in the story "Quune larme dans Vocean" which 
forms part of La Baie Perdue. Here the novelist sets forth the 
eternal spiritual resistance of the Jews. In his preface to the 
book, Andre Malraux (d. 1976) eulogized it as "one of the Jew- 
ish peoples greatest stories." 

bibliography: C. Lehrmann, L'Element Juif dans la Litte- 

rature Francaise, 2 (1961), 178-83; G.L. Mosse, in: New York Times 

(Nov. 11, 1970). 

[Arnold Mandel] 

SPERO, NANCY (1926- ), U.S. painter. Cleveland -born, 
feminist artist Nancy Spero studied at the Art Institute of Chi- 
cago (1945-49) and at the Atelier Andre FHote and the Ecole 
des Beaux- Arts (1949-50) in Paris. While at the Art Institute, 
she met the artist Leon *Golub, whom she married in 1951. 

Conceived while Spero and Golub were living in Paris 
from 1959 until 1964, her early Black Paintings show figures 
materializing from a dark background. Several of these can- 
vases portray women segregated into stereotypical roles, such 
as a mother or a prostitute. In Paris, Spero had her first solo 
exhibition at the Galerie Breteau (1962). Following the cou- 
ple's move to New York in 1964, Spero initiated The War Series 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



(1966-70), a group of gouache drawings on paper that often 
show the effects of bombing by utilizing iconography that 
equates the male phallus with annihilation. From 1969-72, 
Spero worked on the Codex Artaud, her first scroll and a for- 
mat she would explore for many years. Based on the writings 
of Antonin Artaud, Spero juxtaposes typed excerpts from Ar- 
taud's poems with painted imagery arranged in a collage-like 
fashion on strips of paper. For Spero, Artaud s prose, which 
describes his alienation and anguish, metaphorically articu- 
lated the position of women in a patriarchal world. 

Spero began designing museum installations in the late 
1980s. After reading Bertolt Brechts poem about Marie Sand- 
ers, a woman who slept with a Jew and was subsequently mur- 
dered for her perceived transgression, Spero made several in- 
stallations about her, including Ballad of Marie Sanders, The 
Jews Whore at Smith College Museum of Art, Northhampton, 
Massachusetts (1990) and The Ballad of Marie Sanders/Voices: 
Jewish Women in Time at the Jewish Museum (1993). The lat- 
ter installation reproduced photographs showing victimized 
women in the Warsaw Ghetto, concentration camps, and other 
Nazi-related brutalities, as well as women in a more powerful 
position, such as female Israeli soldiers and female Israeli and 
Palestinian peace activists. Spero also depicted Sanders in a 
paper print and a scroll. 

From 1969 Spero was a member of Women Artists in 
Revolution (war), a group dedicated to female equality in the 
arts. She co-founded the Artists in Residence Gallery, an art 
gallery for women based in New York City, in 1972. 

bibliography: D. Nahas, Nancy Spero: Works Since 1950 
(1987); N. Spero, Nancy Spero: Woman Breathing (1992); K. Kline and 
H. Posner, Leon Golub and Nancy Spero: War and Memory (1994); J. 
Bird, J. Isaak, and S. Lotringer, Nancy Spero (1996). 

[Samantha Baskind (2 nd ed.)] 

SPERO, SHUBERT (1923- ), U.S. rabbi. Born in New York 
City, Spero received his rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva and 
Mesifta Torah VaDaath in 1947. After serving as rabbi at the 
Young Israel of Brookline, Mass. (1947-50) he assumed the 
same position at Young Israel of Cleveland (1950-83). He holds 
a B.S.S. from the ccny, an M.A. from Case Western Reserve 
University, and a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University 
(1971). His thesis was on the subject, "The Justification and Sig- 
nificance of Religious Belief." He also served as the secretary 
of the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of Cleveland and lecturer 
in philosophy at the Cleveland Institute of Art. After making 
aliyah to Israel in 1983, he has served as Irving Stone Profes- 
sor of Basic Jewish Thought at Bar-Ilan University. 

For over 40 years Spero made contributions to Jewish 
thought in areas of moral philosophy, aesthetics, religious 
Zionism, and the accommodation between traditional Juda- 
ism and modern life. His published works include Faith in the 
Night (A Bedside Companion for the Sick) (1957); a compilation 
of Maimonides' writings, The Faith of a Jew (1949); and Story 
of Chasam Sofer (1946). His book God in All Seasons (1967) 
discusses Jewish festivals as an integral force in the life of the 

observant Jew. His major philosophical work Morality, Hal- 
akha and the Jewish Tradition (1982) is an attempt to present a 
comprehensive study of the morality of Judaism. In this work 
he argues that the ultimate creative task of man is to create 
himself as a moral personality. 

After many years of research he published his second ma- 
jor work, Holocaust and Return to Zion (2000). In this book 
he analyzes the idea of history from both a Jewish and a phil- 
osophical perspective. He presents a novel interpretation of 
exile in Jewish history, in which it has the special function of 
bringing about the slow, progressive development of certain 
key factors in Jewish and world history that make a renewed 
Jewish sovereign polity possible. 

These key factors are from the Jewish side: the presence 
of a sizable number of Jews, identifiable as Biblical Israel, in 
Europe by the middle of the 19 th century, in possession of a 
Torah which had been elaborated into a viable philosophic 
worldview and a comprehensive way of life, and from the 
side of the larger society, the spread of liberal democracy, the 
doctrine of human rights, the growth of science and technol- 
ogy, and the serious efforts to establish institutions working 
toward an international order. As he understands it, the im- 
probable conjunction of these key factors made possible the 
reestablishment of the Jewish state within the historic bound- 
aries in 1948 - a return that had been promised by the He- 
brew prophets. 

Spero suffered a great personal tragedy in the 2003 sui- 
cide bombing at Cafe Hillel in Jerusalem. Both his son-in-law, 
physician Dr. David Appelbaum, and his granddaughter, Nava, 
who was to be married the next day, were killed in the blast. 
Spero and his family in the following years dedicated them- 
selves to establishing humanitarian and religious projects in 
memory of his son-in-law and granddaughter. 

[Shalom Freedman (2 nd ed.)] 

the College of Jewish Studies), Chicago educational institute 
organized in 1924 by the Board of Jewish Education of Chicago 
to provide opportunities for systematic Jewish studies and for 
training teachers. The College opened under the leadership 
of Alexander Dushkin, the executive director of the Board of 
Jewish Education, with five students, who met in rented quar- 
ters in different parts of the city. Dushkin later established the 
Department of Education at The Hebrew University. In 1935 
Leo Honor, the colleges administrator, succeeded Dushkin 
as director of the Board of Jewish Education with Samuel M. 
Blumenfield serving as registrar and, later, dean of the college. 
Under the leadership of Dr. Leo Honor and Rabbi Samuel Blu- 
menfield, the identity of the college as a distinct institution 
began to emerge. In 1942, it was authorized to grant degrees 
by the Illinois Department of Education. As a result of the 
steady growth of the college, the Board of Jewish Education 
recommended that it become a separate corporation with its 
own board of governors. In 1945 the college was incorporated 
as a Not-for-Profit Illinois Corporation. In its charter, issued 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


that year, the institutional mission was defined as "Maintain- 
ing and operating a College in which youths and adults may 
receive an education on a college and post graduate level in. . . 
any subject relating to Jews and Judaism." This represented an 
expansion of the college's original mission of being primarily 
a teachers' training institution. In 1946 it moved into its own 
building and expanded its program to include studies lead- 
ing to the Bachelor of Hebrew Literature degree and teachers' 
diplomas. With the addition to the faculty of distinguished 
scholars from Europe and Israel, the college initiated gradu- 
ate studies. Spertus College now offers eight post-graduate de- 
grees, and through distance learning options serves students 
in 36 U.S. states and six foreign countries. The Spertus Cen- 
ter for Nonprofit Management provides working profession- 
als with tools to succeed in the nonprofit and public service 
sectors, through its master's program and continuing educa- 
tion opportunities. 

From the 1940s until the 1960s, the college served as the 
central institution in Chicago and in the American Midwest 
for the training of Jewish educators and as the central insti- 
tution in Chicago for Hebrew culture, thereby expressing the 
ideology of Cultural Zionism that characterized its early his- 
tory, programs, and curricula. By 1948, a department of gradu- 
ate studies offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees 
had been initiated. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, can- 
tors and choir directors were trained for synagogues through 
its Institute for Jewish Music. From 1965 the college has served 
other colleges and universities as a department of Judaic 
studies, in which students may pursue a major or minor 
curriculum as well as elective courses. From the 1940s until 
the mid-1960s, the college operated a summer camp, Camp 
Sharon, and initiated and substantially expanded continuing 
education programs in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. 
Many renowned refugee scholars who migrated to America 
to escape Hitler served on the Spertus faculty during these 

In 1968, Maurice Spertus donated his impressive col- 
lection of Jewish ceremonial objects to the college, thus be- 
ginning the Spertus Museum. In 1970, the College of Jew- 
ish Studies honored the outstanding and ongoing support of 
the families of Maurice and his brother Herman Spertus by 
changing its name to the Spertus College of Judaica. In 1974, 
Spertus moved to its present Michigan Avenue location. That 
same year, Norman and Helen Asher, recognizing the impor- 
tance of a first class library, endowed what is now the Norman 
and Helen Asher Library, which contains more than 100,000 
books. The Asher Library also includes the Targ Center for 
Jewish Music and the Chicago Jewish Archives. 

In 1968, the College of Jewish Studies was officially sep- 
arated from the Board of Jewish Education. Among the dis- 
tinguished scholars who served on the faculty were Simon 
Halkin, Simon Rawidowicz, Meyer Waxman, Samuel Fei- 
gen, Moses Shulvass, Judah Rosenthal, and Byron Sherwin. 
Samuel B. Blumenfield was its first president, followed in 
1954 by Abraham Duker, and in 1962, by David Weinstein. In 

1984, Dr. Howard A. Sulkin became the organization's sev- 
enth president. 

In 1971, Spertus College started the first college level 
course in the Midwest in Holocaust Studies, and in 1975 Sper- 
tus Museum created the Bernard and Rochelle Zell Holocaust 
Memorial, the first permanent Holocaust exhibition in North 
America, the centerpiece of the Bernard and Rochelle Zell 
Center for Holocaust Studies. 

In 1987, Spertus College established The Joseph Cardinal 
Bernardin Center for the Study of Eastern European Jewry. 
Jointly sponsored with the Archdiocese of Chicago, the center 
is dedicated to promoting interfaith dialogue and increased 
understanding between eastern European and Jewish com- 

In 1993, the Spertus College of Judaica officially became 
the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, reflecting its multidis- 
ciplinary identity. Along with the name change, reflecting its 
multifaceted approach to the study of Jewish culture, came a 
renewed declaration of institutional goals and new long term 
strategies on how to implement them. 

[Samuel M. Blumenfield] 

SPEWACK, BELLA (i899?-i99o), U.S. journalist, screen- 
writer, and playwright. Born in Transylvania, Bella Cohen 
emigrated with her mother to the Lower East Side of New 
York in 1903. After graduating from Washington Irving High 
School, she began writing for the socialist newspaper The 
Call and also worked as a press agent for various organiza- 
tions. Among them was the Girl Scouts, where she is reputed 
to have invented the idea for the Girl Scout cookie. In 1922, 
Bella Cohen married Samuel Spewack, a newspaperman for 
the New York World, and they traveled together to Berlin 
and Moscow as foreign correspondents. While in Berlin in 
1922, Spewack penned her posthumously-published memoir, 
Streets: A Memoir of the Lower East Side (1995) and also began 
writing short stories. "The Laugh," published in Best Short Sto- 
ries of 1925 , was one of more than 40 short stories she wrote 
in her twenties. Developing their talent in association, Bella 
and Sam Spewack wrote a number of successful comedies for 
stage and screen, including the plays Boy Meets Girl (1935), a 
satire on Hollywood which ran on Broadway for 669 perfor- 
mances; Clear All Wires (1932), a farcical newspaper melo- 
drama; My Three Angels (1953); and The Festival (1955); and 
films such as My Favorite Wife (1940), starring Cary Grant; 
and Weekend at the Waldorf (1945), starring Ginger Rogers. 
Perhaps their best known works are the books they wrote for 
two highly successful Cole Porter musicals, Leave It To Me! 
(1938), and Kiss Me Kate (1948), which won the Tony Award 
that year. Spewack was deeply involved in the theatrical and 
intellectual world of mid-twentieth century New York City. 
Her papers, in the Samuel and Bella Spewack Collection in 
the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Columbia Univer- 
sity, include correspondence with George and Ira Gershwin, 
George S. Kaufman, Thornton Wilder, Mary Martin, Lillian 
Hellman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many others. In 1953 the Spe- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



wacks founded a sports club in Ramat Gan, Israel, for child 
victims of poliomyelitis. 

bibliography: J. Mersand, Traditions in American Liter- 
ature, a Study of Jewish Characters and Authors (1939), 73-77; S.J. 
Kunitz (ed.), Twentieth Century Authors-, first supplement (1955). 

[Andrea Most (2 nd ed.)] 

SPEYER (Fr. Spire; Eng. sometimes Spires), city in the Rhen- 
ish Palatinate, Germany. Although local traditions, largely leg- 
endary, speak of Jewish settlement in Speyer in Roman times, 
Jews probably first came to the city in the early 11 th century. 
Documentary evidence for a Jewish settlement in the city 
dates only from 1084, when Bishop Ruediger settled Jews in 
the village of Altspeyer, which he incorporated into Speyer 
"to increase the honor of the town a thousand fold." At that 
time Jews fled from *Mainz for fear of persecution because of 
a fire they were accused of having caused. The bishop allotted 
them a special residential quarter and gave them a plot from 
Church lands to be used as a cemetery. They were also allowed 
to build a protective wall around their quarter. In a privilege, 
dated Sept. 13, 1084, Bishop Ruediger granted them unre- 
stricted freedom of trade and considerable autonomy. The *ar- 
chisynagogos, later also called "bishop of the Jews" (Judaeorum 
episcopi), was the spiritual head of the community; in lawsuits 
between Jews he was permitted to give rulings in accordance 
with Jewish law. The Jews were also expressly allowed to sell to 
Christians meat which was ritually unclean for Jews, and they 
did not have to pay any duties or tolls when entering or leaving 
the city. They also had the right to engage Christian servants. 
The privilege granted by Bishop Ruediger was confirmed by 
Emperor Henry iv on Feb. 19, 1090, to * Judah b. Kalonymus, 
David b. Meshullam, and Moses b. Jekuthiel of Speyer; in ad- 
dition to renewing the privileges granted by Bishop Ruediger, 
the emperor guaranteed the Jews freedom of trade in his em- 
pire as well as his protection. Henrys privilege document is 
of more than passing interest to the historian, since city privi- 
leges were at the time a new category of constitutional docu- 
ments in Germany. By 1096 a synagogue had been built. The 
mikveh, first mentioned in 1125, was in the vicinity. 

The Jewish community of Speyer was one of the first 
Rhine communities to suffer during the First * Crusade. On a 
Sabbath, the eighth of Iyyar (May 3, 1096), a mob of crusad- 
ers surrounded the synagogue intent upon attacking the com- 
munity while all were gathered in one spot. Forewarned, the 
Jews had concluded their service early and fled to their homes. 
Nevertheless, 10 Jews were caught outside their homes and 
killed. One woman committed suicide rather than submit to 
baptism, an act that was to be repeated frequently during the 
period. When Bishop John heard of what occurred, he came 
to the defense of the Jews with his militia, prevented further 
bloodshed, and punished some of the murderers. As an added 
precaution, he hid some of the Jews in villages surrounding 
Speyer, where they stayed until the danger had passed. The 
Jews returned to their homes, still fearful of attacks against 
them. Jews living in Altspeyer (the upper part of the city) did 

not attend the synagogue located in the lower portion of the 
city because of such fears. Instead, they held services at the 
bet midrash of R. Judah b. Kalonymus until a new synagogue 
was erected in Altspeyer in 1104. 

The community grew and prospered during the 12 th cen- 
tury; its economic position was excellent and it established 
itself as a center of Torah. Among the scholars of Speyer in 
this period were Eliakim b. Meshullam ha-Levi, a student of 
* Isaac b. Judah of Mainz; Kalonymus b. Isaac, known as a 
mystic as well as a talmudist; *Isaac b. Asher ha-Levi; Jacob 
b. Isaac ha-Levi, a German tosafist and author of a dirge on 
the Crusade period; *Samuel b. Kalonymus he-Hasid; Shem- 
ariah b. Mordecai, a correspondent of R. Jacob *Tam and a 
great talmudic authority; Meir b. Kalonymus, the author of 
a commentary to the Sifra, Sifrei, and Mekhilta; and Judah b. 
Kalonymus b. Meir, the author of a talmudic lexicon, Yihusei 
Tannaim ve- Amor aim. In 1195, after severe persecutions fol- 
lowing a *blood libel, Emperor Henry vi demanded that the 
Jews be compensated for damages and that the burned syna- 
gogue and ruined houses be rebuilt. Under the guidance of R. 
Hezekiah ha-Nagid, the Jews rebuilt their community. Early 
in its history the community developed a close relationship 
with the other Rhine communities and particularly with the 
closely allied cities of Mainz and Worms (see *Shum). In a 
series of synods beginning in 1196 they promulgated a series 
of communal decrees known as takkanot Shum, later to be of 
decisive influence on all Ashkenazi communities. The synod 
of 1223 took place in Speyer; among the most important schol- 
ars participating in the synods was R. *Simhah b. Samuel of 
Speyer, although Speyer had then lost the dominant position 
it had held as a Torah center. 

A flourishing community continued to exist in Speyer 
until the middle of the 14 th century, although the Jews were 
drawn into a conflict between the bishop and the burghers 
in 1265, and in 1282 a blood libel brought suffering upon the 
community. In 1286 many Jews of Speyer and the neighbor- 
ing communities of Worms, Mainz, and * Oppenheim were 
involved in the ill-fated attempt at immigration to Erez Israel 
led by *Meir b. Baruch of Rothenburg. In December 1339 both 
the bishop and the municipality promised their protection 
to the Jewish community for a period of ten years. The city 
possessed a Judengasse but Christians lived on it as well, and 
Jews owned houses elsewhere in the city. The community had 
a high degree of autonomy, administered by a "Judenbischof" 
together with a Jewish municipal council. In this period the 
community maintained not only a synagogue and a cemetery 
but also a communal wedding hall, a hospital for the indigent 
poor (*hekdesh) y and a matzah bakery. The community suf- 
fered somewhat during a blood libel in 1342; it was, however, 
to meet its destruction during the *Black Death persecutions. 
In January 1349 a mob gathered and stormed the Jewish quar- 
ter. Some Jews locked themselves into their houses and set fire 
to them; others were killed by the mob, while a small number 
allowed themselves to be baptized in order to save their lives. 
Among the martyrs was the scholarly R. Eliakim, treasurer of 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


the community's hospital. The loss of life was very great; out of 
fear of contamination, the burghers packed Jewish corpses in 
wine barrels and threw them into the Rhine. A small number 
were able to flee to neighboring communities such as ^Hei- 
delberg and Sinzheim. All Jewish property was confiscated 
or destroyed by the mob in an attempt to find hidden gold in 
Jewish homes. Tombstones were dragged away and utilized 
in the building of towers and walls, while the graveyard was 
plowed and sown with corn. All debts owed to the Jews were 
annulled. Emperor Charles iv absolved the city's inhabit- 
ants of any wrongdoing and allowed the city to retain confis- 
cated Jewish properties. Although their houses in Altspeyer 
remained in Christian hands, Jewish autonomy was restored 
in 1354 and part of the cemetery returned, together with the 
right to rebuild communal institutions. 

With much difficulty the community was rebuilt, but 
without any of its prior standing as a center of learning. Em- 
peror *Wenceslaus issued a new letter of protection (see 
*Schutzjuden) to the Jews of Speyer in 1394. Nevertheless, in 
1405 they were expelled from the city and allowed to return 
only in 1421. In 1430 they were again expelled, returning again 
in 1434, only to be driven out once more a year later. After an 
interval of 30 years they were again domiciled in Speyer. In 
1467 the city granted the Jews their protection for a period of 
ten years. Yet in 1468 and 1472 Bishop Matthias von Rammung 
issued anti- Jewish decrees, including a ban on charging inter- 
est and practicing usury; forbidding Jews to appear publicly on 
Christian feast days; forcing Jews to wear distinctive clothing; 
forbidding the building of a school or synagogue without the 
bishop's permission; and an edict confining Speyer Jews to a 
ghetto. By that time, however, the number of Jews in Speyer 
was very small. In fact, from the 16 th to the 18 th centuries, only 
individual Jews lived in the city. Those who fled from Speyer 
settled in neighboring places such as * Bruchsal, Berghausen, 
Harthausen, Dudenhofen, Otterstadt, and *Landau. 

In the 19 th century the community was renewed; by 
1828 it was flourishing once more. A new talmud tor ah was 
opened, employing a permanent teacher. In 1829 the statutes 
of the community, which determined the synagogue regula- 
tions in particular, were published. In 1831 a Jewish elemen- 
tary school was dedicated and in 1837 a synagogue, with an 
adjoining mikveh; the synagogue was enlarged in 1866. A new 
Jewish cemetery was consecrated in 1888. There were several 
societies for social self-help, which united in 1910 to aid the 
needy. The board of the community consisted of five mem- 
bers in 1920. At the beginning of the 20 th century Dr. Adolf 
Wolf *Salvendi and Dr. Steckelmacher were rabbis of Speyer. 

Holocaust Period 

In 1933 there were 269 Jews in Speyer, since many had previ- 
ously moved to other German cities. That same year all the 
community's cultural associations as well as the Jewish youth 
societies were banned. The Speyer municipal government in- 
vestigated the proprietors of firms and placed orders only with 
"Aryan" firms. In May 1934 the community initiated courses 

for the study of Hebrew; in 1935 a conference of Jewish youth 
took place in Speyer. In subsequent years, up to the outbreak 
of the war, many emigrated because of increasing antisemitic 
excesses. Almost all young Jews left the city. In 1939 there 
were still 77 Jews there; in 1940 there were 60. Of these, 51 
were deported on Oct. 22, 1940, to the *Gurs concentration 
camp in France and almost all the rest to camps in Eastern 
Europe, where they perished. No new community was estab- 
lished in Speyer after the war. The synagogue that had been 
built in 1836 was destroyed in 1938, but the cemetery still ex- 
isted in 1971. Remains of the old Jews' court and Jewish pub- 
lic baths were preserved in the Palatinate Historical Museum 
in Speyer, along with a number of Jewish tombstones from 
the 12 th and 15 th centuries and Jewish ritual objects from the 
former community. 

The medieval synagogue in Speyer, dating back to 1104, 
is the oldest Jewish religious structure preserved in Germany. 
Archaeological excavations in 2001 brought new findings 
about the history of the building, the interior, and the early 
history of the Jews in the episcopal city. In 2004-2005 the 
Palatinate Historical Museum in Speyer held the exhibition 
"The Jews of Europe in the Middle Ages," which included a 
computer-based reconstruction of the synagogue. Near the 
site of the synagogue, a plaque (inaugurated in 1978) com- 
memorates the building that was destroyed in 1938. Another 
memorial to the former Jewish community was consecrated 
in 1992, bearing the names of all the Speyer Jews who perished 
during the Nazi era. 

After 1990 Jews from the former Soviet Union settled 
in Speyer. They are partially affiliated with the Jewish com- 
munity of Rhine Palatinate in Neustadt. In 2005 there were 
about 50 members. The Neustadt community planned to open 
a new community center with a synagogue in 2006. Besides 
Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, a Jewish 
community was founded in Speyer in 1996. There were 100 
members in 2005. 

bibliography: Germania Judaica, 1 (1963), 326-66; 2 (1968), 
775-82; vol. 3 (1987), 1384-1401; fjw; E. Carlebach, Die Rechtli- 
chen und sozialen Verhaeltnisse der Juedischen Gemeinden Speyer, 
Worms und Mainz... (1901); A. Epstein, Juedische Alterthuemer in 
Worms und Speyer (1896); L. Rothschild, Die Judengemeinden zu 
Mainz, Speyer und Worms von 1349-1438 (1904); R. Herz, Gedenk- 
schrift zum 100-jaehrigen Bestehen der Synagoge in Speyer (1937); 
EJ. Hildebrand, Das Romanische Judenbad im alten Synagogenhofe 
zu Speyer (1900); A. Neubauer and M. Stern, Hebraeische Berichte 
ueber die Judenverfolgungen waehrend der Kreuzzuege (1892), pas- 
sim; M. Wiener, in: mgwj, 12 (1863), 161-77, 255-68, 297-310, 417-31; 
454-66; D. Kaufmann, ibid., 35 (1886), 517-20; O. Stobbe, in: zgjd, 
1 (1887), 205-15; M. Stern, ibid., 3 (1889), 245-8; R. Strauss, ibid., 7 
(!937)> 2 34 _ 9; R- Krautheimer, Mittelalterliche Synagogen (1927), 
145-50; G. Stein, Judenhof und Judenbad in Speyer am Rhein (1969); 
idem, Zur Datierung des Speyerer Judenbades (1964); Finkelstein, 
Middle Ages; A. Kober, in: paajr, 14 (1944), 187-220; Aronius, Re- 
gesten, no. 168; Kisch, Germany, index; Monumenta fudaica (1963), 
index; A.M. Habermann, Gezerot Ashkenaz ve-Zarefat (1946); K. 
Duewell, Die Rheingebiete in der Judenpolitik des Nationalsozialismus 
vor 1942 (1968), index, add bibliography: Geschichte der Juden 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



in Speyer (Beitraege zur Speyerer Stadtgeschichte, vol. 6) (1981); G. 
Stein, Speyer, Judenhof und Judenbad (Grosse Baudenkmaeler, vol. 
238) (1989 7 ); S. Wipfler-Pohl, "Vom Leben Juedischer Frauen," in: F. 
Ebli (ed.), Frauen in Speyer. Leben und Wirken in zwei Jahrtausenden 
(1990); J. Bruno and L. Moeller, Der Speyerer Judenhof und die mittel- 
alterliche Gemeinde (2001); J. Bruno and E. Dittus, Juedisches Leben 
in Speyer (2004). websites:; www.jgs-;; 

[B. Mordechai Ansbacher / Larissa Daemmig (2 nd ed.)] 

SPEYER, German and American family of international 
bankers and philanthropists. Progenitor of the family was 
michael isaac speyer (d. 1692) who, on his marriage in 
1644, established residence in the Frankfurt ghetto and be- 
came community head. His great-grandson isaac michael 
speyer (d. 1807) was an Imperial Court Jew. The latter's 
nephew Joseph lazarus speyer (1783-1846) married into 
the Frankfurt banking family Ellissen, and his son lazarus 
Joseph speyer (1810-1876) carried on business from 1836 un- 
der the hyphenated name Lazard Speyer- Ellissen. The latter's 
partner, philipp speyer (1815-1876), moved to New York 
in 1837. Together with his brother gustav (1825-1883) he es- 
tablished the bank Philipp Speyer & Co. in 1845, later Speyer 
& Co. Together with its Frankfurt affiliate, it placed the first 
North American Civil War loan in Germany. Gustav's Amer- 
ican-born sons, james (1861-1941) and edgar (1862-1932) 
piloted the family concern to its height. While remaining 
partners of the Frankfurt house, whose last head was their 
brother-in-law ed uard beit von speyer (1860-1933), James 
conducted the American business and Edgar took charge of 
Speyer Brothers, London. Edgar was made a baronet, but, 
suffering defamation during World War 1, returned to New 
York. Speyer & Co. alone, and sometimes jointly with *Kuhn, 
Loeb & Co. and National City Bank, led syndicates which 
raised European capital for investment in American industry. 
This movement was reversed after World War 1, when a 
subsidiary, New York 8c Foreign Investing Corporation, mo- 
bilized American capital for investment, mainly through the 
Frankfurt branch, in German and other Central European 
issues. Absorbing a Berlin private bank in 1927, the Frank- 
furt branch became temporarily prominent in the interna- 
tional expansion of the German rayon industry. However, the 
worldwide crisis after 1929 stopped the trans-atlantic flow of 
capital, and the German and American houses were liqui- 
dated in the 1930s. Institutions benefiting from the family's 
philanthropic interests included Frankfurt University; Mu- 
seum of the City of New York; and Mount Sinai Hospital, 
New York. 

bibliography: B. Baer, Stammtafeln der Familie Speyer 

(1896); K. Grunwald, in: lbyb, 12 (1967), 176; S. Birmingham, Our 

Crowd (1968). 

[Hanns G. Reissner] 

SPEYER, BENJAMIN (18 th century), communal leader and 
shtadlan, merchant in Mogilev- Podolski, and purveyor to the 

Russian government. In 1768 Speyer acted with Baruch Yo- 
von (Yavan) to foil Jacob ""Frank's appeal to the Russian gov- 
ernment for protection. In 1770 Speyer successfully obtained 
the suspension of a decree expelling Jews from Courland and 
Riga. When the Frankists sent the "red letters" to the Jews of 
Russia in 1800, Speyer translated them for Governor- General 
Gudovich of Kamenets- Podolski, signing himself with the ti- 
tle "court councillor." In 1804 he proposed to the government 
council in charge of legislation for Jews that they eliminate 
unfair taxation. 

bibliography: Yu. Hessen, in: ye, 16 (c. 1912), 82. 

[Yehuda Slutsky] 

SPEYER, SIR EDGAR (1862-1932), British railway finan- 
cier. Edgar Speyer, a member of the famous German banking 
family, was born in Frankfurt and came to England in 1887 
as a director of Speyer Brothers, the family bank, engaged in 
currency exchange and railway finance. He was naturalized in 
1892. From the mid-i890s he was one of the most important 
figures in procuring the finance and development of London's 
"tubes," its electric-powered subways, usually in conjunction 
with the American railway builder C.T. Yerkes. London's Un- 
derground system owes much to Speyer. He was made a bar- 
onet (a hereditary knight) in 1906 and was made a member 
of the Privy Council in 1909. During World War 1, Speyer 
was the victim of a concerted, highly unpleasant campaign 
against him as an alleged pro -German. In 1915 he offered to 
resign as a privy councilor, but the offer was declined by the 
prime minister; at nearly the same time, a lawsuit was brought 
against him and Sir Ernest *Cassel, another German-born 
member, requiring them to justify their continued member- 
ship. As a result of these pressures, Speyer moved perma- 
nently to New York. According to historians, however, there 
seems no doubt that Speyer was, in some sense, pro-German 
and was in regular touch with his Frankfurt business. In 1921 
he was struck off the list of privy councilors and was accused, 
in a government white paper, of "trading with the enemy" in 
wartime. He continued to live in New York but died after an 
operation in Germany, ironically less than a year before Hit- 
ler came to power. 

bibliography: odnb online; D. Kynaston, The City of Lon- 
don, 1 (1994). 

[William D. Rubinstein (2 nd ed.)] 

SPICES. The Bible has no special word for spice. In the talmu- 
dic and midrashic literature the term tavlin is used, from the 
verb tavel (^D), which is apparently connected with the root 
balol ("to mix"). This term was employed metaphorically by R. 
Joshua b. Hananiah in his reply to questions by "the emperor" 
(probably Hadrian): "Why has the Sabbath dish such a fra- 
grant odor?" To this R. Joshua replied: "We have a certain spice 
(tavlin) called the Sabbath, which we put into it [the Sabbath 
dish] and which gives it a fragrant odor" (Shab. 119a). Spiced 
foods were very popular among the Jews of Erez Israel and 
Babylonia, even as they are today among Jews from Oriental 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


countries who know several dozen varieties of spices, special 
favorites being the pungent-tasting ones, principally pepper, 
that stimulate the appetite. Such spices apparently also have 
some disinfectant action under the inferior conditions of food 
hygiene prevalent in the East. The general name for spices is 
J vDlK TPSttffa (mashbihei okhelin, "food improvers"; Sif. Deut. 
107, where seven kinds of spices are mentioned). Another term 
used is nYTj? , j? ,, S (zikei kederah; Yoma 75a; Hul. 77b; et al.). 

Among the "food- imp roving" spices may also be in- 
cluded pungent-tasting vegetables, such as *garlic, the *leek, 
the *onion, etc. Some aromatic plants (*incenses and per- 
fumes), such as ^cinnamon and * saffron, were also used as 
spices. In addition to these aromatic plants and vegetables, the 
Bible mentions four kinds of spices, *hyssop, *caper, *cumin, 
and ^fennel-flower, while talmudic literature refers to dozens 
of varieties, the most important of which are the following. 

amomum. The word hamam mentioned in the Mishnah (Uk. 
3:5; et al.) refers, according to Asaph ha-Rofe, to the seed of 
the pungent-tasting, aromatic plants of the genus Amomum 
of the Zingiberaceae - ginger family - such as Amomum car- 
damomum. Called hel in Arabic, it is popular among Orien- 
tal communities as an additive to coffee. Some hold that the 
"principal spices" (Ex. 30:23) refer to these plants. 

asafetida. The hilt it of the Mishnah is the plant Ferula asa- 
fetida, the congener of galbanum, and, like it, has an unpleas- 
ant aroma but flavors a dish, and is still used in Iran. Men- 
tioned together with asafetida is a spice named tiah (Uk. 3:5), 
held by some to be the root of the same plant. 

caper. The fruit, aviyyonah, and the flower buds, zalat, of the 
caper plant were eaten pickled either in salt or in vinegar. 

caraway. The karbos of the Mishnah (Kil. 2:5 - this is the 
correct reading), which is identified in the Jerusalem Talmud 
(ms Rome, ibid. 2:5, 27d) refers to Carum carvi, the seed of 
which was used as a spice and the thick root as a vegetable. 

costus. The kosht, which is mentioned among the "food im- 
provers" (Sif. Deut. 107; cf. Uk. 3:5) and among the ingredients 
of the incense used in the Temple (Ker. 6a), has been identi- 
fied with the aromatic spice Costus, which was extracted from 
species of plants belonging to the ginger family. According to 
another view, the Costus of the ancients is to be identified with 
Aucklandia costus (= Aplotaxixhappa), a fragrant plant which 
is a member of the Compositae family. 

cumin. The seed of the kammon of the Bible and the litera- 
ture of the sages was used as a spice on bread during baking. 

dill. Called shevet in the Mishnah, dill is the plant An- 
ethum graveolens used today mainly as a spice in pickled cu- 
cumbers. In mishnaic times its foliage, stems, and seed were 
used as a spice (Ma'as. 4:5), and it was sown for this purpose 
(Pe'ah 3:2). It is an umbelliferous plant with yellow flowers, 
which grows wild in the Negev (it is popularly but errone- 
ously called shamir). 

dodder. This plant is identified with plants of the genus 
Cuscuta of which there are many species that are parasitic on 
cultivated and wild plants in Israel. Dodder is called in the 
Mishnah keshut, the meaning of which is "hair," since these 
plants are leafless and have the appearance of entwined hair. 
The seed sprouts on the ground, and the plant winds itself 
around the stem of another plant, extracting its sap by put- 
ting forth suckers into it. The fruit of the dodder was used as 
a spice, mainly in wine (Pliny, Historia naturalis 13:46). In the 
Talmud it is mentioned that the dodder is a parasitic plant, its 
life depending on the plant to which it is attached (Er. 28b). 

fennel. The umbelliferous plant Foeniculum vulgare, leaves 
of which are used as a spice similar to dill, fennel is called guf- 
nan in the Mishnah (Dem. 1:1) and shumar in the Talmud. The 
Jerusalem Talmud (Dem. 1:1, 2id) states that the Galileans did 
not consider it a spice, but it was regarded as such in Judah. 

fennel -flower. Known as kezah in the Bible and the lit- 


erature of the sages, the seed of the fennel-flower was used as 
a spice on bread. 

ginger. The Indian plant Zingibar officinale •, from the root- 
stock of which an aromatic spice was made, ginger is called 
zangevila in the Talmud and was sold both dried and fresh 
(Ber. 36b; Yoma 81b). In the Talmud {ibid.) it is also called 
"the himalta which comes from India." 

hyssop. The plant Majorana syriaca is called ezov in the 
Bible and in the literature of the sages; its leaves were used 
as a spice. Of the allied genera, reference is made to the spice 
plants (ezov koheli), which is Hyssopus officinalis (Neg: 14, 6, 
where ezov romi is also mentioned), evreta, maru-hiyyura, 
and shumshuk (Shab. 109b), species that belong to the genera 
Majorana or Origanum. 

lavender. The plant Lavandula officinalis (spica) is known 
as ezovyon y and its leaves are used as a perfume and as a medi- 
cine (Shab. 14:3). 

mint. The plant Menta piperita, the leaves of which are 
used as a spice and yield an ethereal oil, is called minta in the 
Mishnah (Uk. 1:2) and naana (which is also its Arabic name) 
in the Jerusalem Talmud (Shab. 7, 10a). Four species of mint 
grow wild in Israel. 

mustard. Known as hardal in the literature of the sages, 
*mustard is extracted from the seed of species of Sinapis and 

pepper. The most important and popular spice, black ^pep- 
per is know aspilpely and Piper longum aspilpela arikhta. 

rue. The small shrub Ruta graveolens, whose leaves have a 
pungent aroma (regarded by some as unpleasant), is popular 
among Oriental communities. In the Mishnah (Uk. 1:2; et al.), 
it is called pigam, and in Arabic fijn or rudah (= Ruta). The 
Mishnah (Shev. 9:1) also mentions a rue that grows wild, the 
reference being to Ruta bracteosa, which grows in the woods 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



in Israel. To the family of rue - Rutaceae - belong species of 
the Citrus. 

safflower. The prickly plant Carthamus tinctorius has red- 
dish-yellow leaves, hallot haria (Uk. 3:5), which were used as 
a spice, and its seed, benot haria (Tosef Ma'as. Sh. 1:13), as 
food as well as a spice. In the Talmud kozah, kurtama y and 
morika are used as synonyms for safflower. Today the saf- 
flower is grown largely for the oil extracted from its seed. 
The petals of the flower s corolla were formerly used as a dye 
(see *Dye Plants). 

saffron. Known as karkom in the Bible and the literature 
of the sages, the stigmas of its flower were used as a spice and 
a dye. 

savory. Called si ah in the Mishnah, savory is mentioned 
there, together with hyssop and thyme, among plants which 
were grown as spices; it also grew wild (Shev. 8:1; Ma'as. 3, 9). 
According to the Jerusalem Talmud (Shev. 7:2, 37b), si ah is 
identified with zatrah, which is Satureia tymbra Savory, an 
aromatic dwarf shrub of the family Labi at ae y that grows wild 
on mountains. The Arabs call these three species zdar. 

sesame. The summer plant Sesamum orientalis (indicum), 
sesame was used in the preparation of delicacies and as a spice 
in various kinds of pastry (Shev. 2:7; ty 1:5). Its seed consists 
of 50% oil, which was used as a food and in lamps (Ned. 6:9; 
Shab. 2:2). 

sumac. The og of the Mishnah, the fruit of the sumac tree 
was used as a spice. 

thyme. Called koranit in the Mishnah, thyme is a diminu- 
tive dwarf shrub which grows extensively in Israel on the kur- 
kar hills near the coast and on mountains. Its tiny, pungently 
aromatic leaves were used as a spice, like hyssop and savory, 
together with which it is mentioned (Ma'as. 3:9). 

The above are the most probable identifications, others 
having been suggested by commentators for these plants, as 
well as for kinds of spices common in their day. Among these, 
mention should be made of the poppy, the plant Pap aver som- 
niferum. Its seed is used as a spice and also in various kinds of 
pastry. In modern Hebrew the poppy is called par ag or per eg y 
on the basis of the identification given in the Arukh and by 
other commentators for DT1D in the Mishnah, which are, how- 
ever, none other than *millet. Although several species of Pa- 
paver grow wild in Israel, it is impossible to determine whether 
the cultivated poppy was grown. The only reference to of yon 
(opium is extracted, as is known, from poppy) occurs in the 
Jerusalem Talmud (Av. Zar. 2:2, 4od). It was considered dan- 
gerous to buy of yon from heathens (see *Havdalah). 

bibliography: Loew, Flora, respective articles and 4 (1934), 
93 f.; S. Krauss, Kadmoniyyot ha-Talmud, 2 (1929), 243-9; J- Feliks, 
Olam ha-Zomeah ha-Mikra'i (1968), 176-85; idem, Kilei Zeraim ve- 
Harkavah (1937), index, add. bibliography: Feliks, Ha- Tzomeah, 
19, 22, 24, 41, 65, 66, 69, 73, 85, 89, 100, 104, 123, 125, 132, 137, 147, 148, 

i54> i57> 197- 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

SPICE TRADE. In their original settlements in the East Med- 
iterranean and Near East, Jewish merchants traded in luxury 
goods, including * spices. This latter trade became more evident 
in the Diaspora era, when Jews, along with Greeks and Syrians, 
appeared as traders in Western Europe. Because of their rela- 
tionship with the Orient, they were able to supply these prod- 
ucts, which were grown mainly in the countries from southern 
Arabia to the Moluccas and were used for medicinal purposes, 
in the preparation of food and beverages, and in perfumes. At 
first the Syrians led this trade, losing their position to the Jews 
only after the conquest of the Syrian coast by the Arabs. Writ- 
ing on the trade routes in the years between 854 and 874, Ibn 
Kordabheh, postmaster of the caliph of Baghdad, mentioned 
that Radhanites traded in musk, aloes, camphor, cinnamon, 
and other commodities between France and China. From the 
tenth century the northern route through the Slav countries 
became increasingly important to Jewish traders as they were 
displaced in the Mediterranean by Italian merchants. When 
visiting Mainz around 978, Ibrahim Tartuschi, an Arab from 
the Iberian Peninsula, was astonished to find the markets filled 
with large quantities of spices which could only be found in the 
Far East; it was generally believed that these were brought by 
Jewish merchants from the Orient by way of Kiev. The activities 
of Jewish traders on the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean trade 
routes and ports are revealed in 11 th - to 13 th - century genizah 
documents and responsa. The disuse of the Eastern routes with 
the expansion of Tatar and Turkish conquest added to the in- 
creased Christian participation in overseas trade and the re- 
striction of Jewish commercial activities, and caused the Jews 
to lose their position as intermediaries with the Orient, being 
replaced by the Italians and especially the Venetians. 

Jewish merchants once more played a part in the spice 
trade with the opening of the direct route to East India by the 
Portuguese. Prominent among these merchants was the New 
Christian *Mendes family, probably descendants of the Span- 
ish *Benveniste family. Rui Mendes (de Brito) sent a ship to 
East India with Vasco da Gama's second voyage in 1502, and in 
1505, in association with the German Lucas Rem, armed three 
ships for East India. He was probably a close relative of the 
brothers Francisco and Diogo *Mendes who, the former in Lis- 
bon and the latter in Antwerp, controlled a major part of the 
commerce in pepper and other spices in northern Europe, the 
largest market at that time. After the death of Diogo Mendes 
(1542 or 1543), Francisco's widow, Beatrice de Luna, carried on 
the Antwerp branch of the enterprise. As J. A. Goris has shown 
(see bibl.), about 12 other New Christians in Antwerp were en- 
gaged in the spice trade, on the basis of annual contracts made 
with the king of Portugal. For some time the Perez family and 
other Spanish merchants, who were probably also New Chris- 
tians, were the representatives of these contract adores. When 
Philip 11 succeeded to the throne of Portugal, he tried to re- 
new the system of contracts, which had been in the hands of 
the German Konrad Rott during the last years of Portuguese 
independence. After Rott s bankruptcy, the Lisbon and Ant- 
werp branches of the Ximenes and D'Evora families partici- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


pated in the European contract. From 1592 to 1596 the Indian 
contract was in the hands of a consortium of New Christians: 
Tomaz and Andre Ximenes, Duarte Furtado de Mendoza, Luis 
Gomes d'Elvas, Heitor Mendes, and Jorge Rodriguez Solis. 
Attacks on Portuguese ships by English pirates, the revival of 
the Levantine spice trade from Alexandria and Syria to the 
Mediterranean ports, and the opening of East Indian naviga- 
tion by the Dutch and English, all contributed to the decline 
of the Portuguese monopoly and thus of the activities of the 
New Christian groups. However, their participation in the 
spice trade in Hamburg and Amsterdam remained promi- 
nent. Among the 16 spice importers in Amsterdam in 1612, 11 
were "Portuguese," i.e., Sephardim. According to Bloom (see 
bibl.), in the first part of the 18 th century the spice trade still 
represented a considerable proportion of the commercial ac- 
tivities of the Sephardi community in Amsterdam. 

bibliography: W. Heyd, Geschichte des Levantehandels im 
Mittelalter (1879); P. Lambrechts, in: Antiquite Classique, 6 (1937), 
357ff.; J. Brutzkus, in: zgjd, 3 (1931), 97f.; L. Rabinowitz, Jewish Mer- 
chant Adventures, a Study of the Radanites (1948); S.D. Goitein, A 
Mediterranean Society, 1 (1967), index; Roth, Marranos, index; C. 
Roth, House of Nasi, Dona Gracia (1947); J.A. Goris, Etude sur les Col- 
onies Marchandes Meridionales a Anvers de 1488 a 156/ (1925); Brug- 
mans-Frank, 1 (1940); D. Gomes, Discursos sobre los Comercios de las 
doslndias, ed. by M.B. Amzalak (1943); J.G da Silva, in: xiii Congresso 
Luso-Espanhol para Progresso das Ciencias, Lisbon, 1950; J.L. de Aze- 
vedo, Epocas de Portugal Economico (1947 2 ); H.I. Bloom, Economic 
Activity of the Jews of Amsterdam in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth 
Centuries (1937); C. von Rohr, Neue Quellen zur zweiten Indienfahrt 
Vasco da Gamas (1939); J. PoliSensky and P. RatkoS, in: Historica, 9 
(1964), 53-67; H. Kellenbenz, in: Monumenta Judaica (1963), 199 f.; 
idem, Sephardim an der unteren Elbe (1958); idem, La Participation 
des Capitaux de VAllemagne Meridionale aux Entreprises Portugaises 
d'Outre-Mer au Tournant du xv e siecle et xvi e siecle (1966). 

[Hermann Kellenbenz] 

SPIDER (Heb. ttf'Opy, akkavish). Isaiah (59:5-6) compares the 
evil designs of those who plot against the righteous to the webs 
which the spider spins to trap insects, while Job (8:14-15) com- 
pares the house of the wicked to the spider's fragile web. There 
are hundreds of species of spider in Israel, all having poison- 
ous glands in their maxillaries. The poison in most spiders is 
a mild one, but there are species capable of killing a bird or a 
mouse. It would appear that the akhshuv (Ps. 140:4) which is 
mentioned together with the snake as a poisonous animal is 
merely the akkavish with the letters transposed. The Tosefta 
(Par. 9:6) enumerates it among the species of spiders. Some 
erroneously identify the spider with the semamit (Prov. 30:28) 
which is the * gecko. 

bibliography: Lewysohn, Zool, 299-301, nos. 400 and 401; 
F.S. Bodenheimer, Animal and Man in Bible Lands (i960), 116, nos. 
336-40; J. Feliks, Animal World of the Bible (1962), 135. 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

SPIEGEL, DORA (1879-1948), third president of the Na- 
tional ^Women's League of the United Synagogue of Amer- 

ica. Spiegel led the organization through the difficult years of 
the Depression and World War 11. Born in Ungvar, Hungary, 
to Pepi Josephine (Fullman) and Rabbi Daniel Rosenberg, 
Dora Rosenberg arrived in the United States with her par- 
ents in 1882. Although Dora and Dr. Samuel Spiegel (a New 
York physician, whom she married in 1900) had no children 
of their own, she dedicated her energy to serving Jewish chil- 
dren and their mothers. Spiegel attended Teachers College of 
Columbia University, receiving a B.S. degree in 1916 and an 
M.A. in 1920, with a special diploma as Advisor to Women. 
In New York she taught at the Educational Alliance, training 
immigrants in "Americanization." 

A close friend and supporter of Mathilde *Schechter, 
Spiegel was a founder and president (1918-28) of the New 
York Metropolitan branch of the Women's League of the 
United Synagogue of America, and served as national presi- 
dent from 1928 to 1944, when poor health forced her to step 
down before the conclusion of her term. During World War 11, 
Spiegel's "President's Chats" columns in the League's magazine 
Outlook encouraged members to help with war- relief efforts. 
Women responded by giving blood, selling bonds, serving 
in canteens, and taking and teaching first-aid classes. Dur- 
ing her presidency, Spiegel also led the League to begin the 
Torah Fund Campaign to establish a Seminary dormitory and 
a scholarship fund, which would allow rabbinical students to 
study full-time. She also encouraged the creation of two addi- 
tional scholarship funds (the Mathilde Schechter Scholarship 
Fund and the Cyrus Adler Scholarship Fund). In addition, the 
plan for building a dormitory for female students developed 
during her tenure as president. She also helped found the 
Women's Institute of Jewish Studies at the Jewish Theological 
Seminary of America. 

bibliography: They Dared to Dream: A History of National 
Women's League, 1918-1968 (1967); S. Weintraub, "Spiegel, Dora," in: 
P.E. Hyman and D. Dash Moore Jewish Women in America: An His- 
torical Encyclopedia (1997). 

[Aleisa Fishman (2 nd ed.)] 

SPIEGEL, ISAIAH (Yeshayohu Spiegel; 1906-1990), Yiddish 
poet, fiction writer and essayist. Born in Balut, a poor suburb 
of Lodz, Poland, Spiegel was encouraged by I. * Katzenelson 
and M. *Broderzon, and was one of the group of young Yid- 
dish poets active in Lodz in the 1920s. From 1926 to 1933 he 
taught in Yiddish schools and wrote for Yiddish journals in 
Poland and abroad. Spiegel was one of the few Yiddish writ- 
ers of distinction to survive the Holocaust. For almost five 
years he lived in the Lodz ghetto; upon its destruction he was 
sent to Auschwitz and later to a labor camp in Saxony. He re- 
turned to Lodz after the liberation (1945) and from 1946 to 
1948 taught in its Jewish school; there, he dug up a manuscript 
he had buried. From 1951 he lived in Israel. He published two 
volumes of verse and an autobiographical novel, but his most 
important work is his Holocaust fiction, especially his short 
stories: Geto ("Ghetto Kingdom," 1947), Shtern Ibern 
Geto ("Stars Over the Ghetto," 1948), Mentshn in Thorn ("Peo- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



pie in an Abyss," 1949), Likht Funem Opgrunt ("Light from the 
Precipice," 1952), and Vint un Vortslen ("Wind and Roots," 
1955). With restraint and perception, Spiegel records the fate 
of multitudes of ordinary men and women in his stories. Most 
of his stories originally written during the Holocaust were 
considerably revised, the documenting witness giving way to 
the memorializing artist. 

bibliography: J. Glatstein, In Tokh Genumen, Eseyen 1948- 

1956 (1956), 453-65; idem, In Tokh Genumen, Eseyen 1949-1959, 1 

(i960), 279-86. add. bibliography: N. Gris, Fun Finsternish tsu 

Likht: Yeshayohu Shpigl un Zayn Verk (1974); lnyl, 8 (1981), 782-4; 

Y. Szeintuch (ed.), Yeshayohu Shpigl: Proza Sifrutit Migeto Lodzh 

(1995); L. Prager, in: S. Kerbel (ed.), Jewish Writers of the Twentieth 

Century (2003), 533-4. 

[Leonard Prager] 

SPIEGEL, LUDWIG (1864-1926), Czech educator and poli- 
tician. Spiegel, who was professor of constitutional law at the 
German University of Prague, was one of the leaders of the 
German Democratic Party and a member of the Senate (upper 
chamber of deputies; 1920-25). In 1926 he was elected rector 
of the university in spite of his being a Jew (see also Samuel 
*Steinherz), but died before assuming office. His works in- 
clude Die Geschichtliche Entwicklung des O ester reichischen 
Staatsrechts (1905), Die Verwaltungsrechtswissenschaft (1909), 
Gesetz und Recht (1913), and Die Entstehung des Tschecho- 

slowakischen Staats (1921). 

[Chaim Yahil] 

SPIEGEL, NATHAN (1905-1995), scholar of Jewish studies. 
Born in New York, Spiegel grew up in Galicia, Moravia, and 
the Ukraine. He received his doctorate in 1931 from the Uni- 
versity of Lvov in classical studies and ancient philosophy. Af- 
ter World War 11 he was a high school teacher in Poland and 
from 1952 the rector of a Warsaw institute of education. He 
immigrated to Israel in 1957 where he was director of a special 
library at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1965 he be- 
gan to teach at Ben-Gurion University and served as head of 
the department of general studies. Among his works are books 
on leading figures of the Greek and Hellenic world, such as 
Socrates, Aristotle, Homer, and Seneca, as well as on trends 
and schools of thought in the Greek world. Spiegel received 
the 1990 Israel Prize for Jewish Studies. 

[Fern Lee Seckbach] 

SPIEGEL, PAUL (1937-2006), German-Jewish journalist and 
politician. Born in Warendorf (Westphalia), Spiegel fled with 
his family to Holland after the outbreak of World War 11. He 
wrote as a journalist for German- Jewish newspapers, and be- 
tween 1965 and 1972 was editor of the Juedische Pressedienst 
and assistant to the general secretary of the Zentralrat der 
Juden in Deutschland. Between 1974 and 1986 he directed 
the office of public affairs at the Rheinische Sparkassen und 
Giroverband. In 1986 he founded an international Kuenstler- 
agentur. In 1984 Spiegel was elected president of the Dues- 
seldorf Jewish community, in 1989 president of the Zentral- 

wohlfahrtsstelle der Juden in Deutschland. After the death of 
Ignatz *Bubis, Spiegel was elected president of the Zentralrat 
der Juden in Deutschland in January, 2000. He was an active 
promoter of German- Jewish understanding, an author on Jew- 
ish matters, and a prominent figure in German public life. 

SPIEGEL, SAMUEL P. (1901-1985), U.S. motion picture pro- 
ducer. Born in Jaroslau, Austria, Spiegel came to the United 
States in 1939. Ultimately becoming one of the top producers 
of his time, Spiegel's films include Tales of Manhattan (1942), 
The Stranger (1945), We Were Strangers (1949), The African 
Queen (1951), On the Waterfront (Academy Award for Best 
Picture, 1954), The Bridge on the River Kwai (Academy Award 
for Best Picture, 1957), Suddenly Last Summer (1950), Law- 
rence of Arabia (Academy Award for Best Picture, 1962), The 
Night of the Generals (1966), The Happening (1967), Nicholas 
and Alexandra (Oscar nomination for Best Picture, 1971), The 
Last Tycoon (1976), and Betrayal (1983). Spiegel, who was also 
known for a time as S.P. Eagle, was the only person to win the 
Best Picture Oscar three times as a sole producer within eight 
years. He was the brother of Shalom * Spiegel. 

In 1964 he received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial 
Award, given to a creative producer who has been responsible 
for a consistently high quality of motion picture production. 

add. bibliography: A. Sinclair, Spiegel: The Man behind 
the Pictures (1987); A. Sinclair, S.P Eagle: A Biography of Sam Spie- 
gel (1988); N. Fraser-Cavassoni, Sam Spiegel: Tlie Incredible Life and 
Times (2003). 

[Jonathan Licht / Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

SPIEGEL, SHALOM (1899-1984), scholar, writer, and educa- 
tor. Born in Romania and educated in Vienna, Spiegel was for 
a number of years a leader of Jewish youth who were prepar- 
ing to live in collectives in Israel as members of Ha-Shomer 
ha-Za'ir. He taught in Erez Israel 1923-29, then went to New 
York, and was professor of medieval Hebrew literature at the 
Jewish Theological Seminary (1944-84). Trained in art and 
aesthetics, among other areas, he brought the appreciation of 
the sensitive critic to what he taught, studied, or wrote. His 
Hebrew Reborn (1930, repr. 1962), a series of chapters on Jewish 
men of letters in modern times, is a lucid, cultural analysis of 
the works of the authors it surveys. He also gave attention to 
the biblical and the medieval periods of Jewish cultural his- 
tory. He published studies on Hosea, Amos, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, 
and Job. These exhibit both his erudition and thoroughness 
and also his style and finesse. Spiegel prepared a definitive 
edition of the liturgical compositions of Eleazar * Kallir. He 
also prepared a volume of what remains of the religious po- 
etry by Kallir s predecessors and contemporaries. His discus- 
sion of the sacrifice of Isaac (*Akedah) in the Hebrew liturgy 
of the 12 th and 13 th centuries is a notable example of his pen- 
etrating approach (The Last Trial, translated from the Hebrew 
by J. Goldin, 1967). 

In 1996 the Jewish Theological Seminary established the 
Shalom Spiegel Institute for Medieval Hebrew Literature. The 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Institute provides fellowships to graduate students in the field, 
fosters international research projects, and provides access to 
Spiegel's copious collection of research materials. 

He was the brother of film producer Samuel P. ""Spiegel. 

[Abraham Solomon Halkin / Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

SPIEGEL-ADOLF, MONA (Anna Simona; 1893-1983), 
colloid chemist. Spiegel-Adolf studied medicine in her na- 
tive Vienna and worked there on medical colloid chemistry 
until 1931, when she became professor of colloid chemistry at 
the medical school of Temple University, Philadelphia. Her 
research covered physical chemistry of proteins and lipids, 
cancer, amaurotic family idiocy, etc. She wrote Die Globuline 
(1930) and co-authored X-ray Diffraction Studies in Biology 
and Medicine (1947). 

SPIEGELBERG, HERBERT (1904-1990), philosopher. Of 
Jewish origin, Spiegelberg was raised as a Christian. Born in 
Strasbourg, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Mu- 
nich. He went to the U.S. in 1938 and taught at Swarthmore 
College in Pennsylvania (1938-41) and Lawrence College in 
Wisconsin (1941-63). In 1963 he was appointed to the philoso- 
phy department of Washington University in St. Louis, Mis- 
souri, where he stood out as a phenomenologist and historian 
of phenomenology. He retired as professor emeritus in 1971. 

Spiegelberg belonged more to the "Older Phenomeno- 
logical Movement" than to the Freiburg School, influenced 
by Alexander Pfaender s approach. He was very influential 
in developing interest in phenomenological thought in the 
Anglo-American world through his lectures and writings. 
His Phenomenological Movement has provided a historical 
study and interpretation to this philosophy from Brentano 
to the present. 

His major writings include Anti-relativismus (1935), Ge- 
setz und Sittengesetz (1935), The Phenomenological Movement 
(2 vols., i960, 1965 2 ), Alexander Pfaender s Phaenomenologie 
(1963), the translation of Pfaender s Phenomenology of Will- 
ing and Motivation (1967), Phenomenology in Psychology and 
Psychiatry (1972), Doing Phenomenology (1975), The Content 
of the Phenomenological Movement (1981), and Steppingstones 
toward an Ethics for Fellow Existers (1986). 

bibliography: H. Spiegelberg, Phenomenological Perspec- 
tives: Historical and Systematic Essays in Honor of Herbert Spiegel- 
berg (1975). 

[Richard H. Popkin / Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

SPIEGELMAN, ART (1948- ), U.S. cartoonist. Born in 
Stockholm, Sweden, to parents who survived the Holocaust, 
Spiegelman grew up in Queens, n.y. In 1968, while attending 
Harpur College in Binghamton, n.y., he had a nervous break- 
down, but he recovered. Shortly after, his mother, a survivor 
of Auschwitz, committed suicide. Spiegelman later included 
the tragic and traumatic event in his groundbreaking comic 
books, Maus 1 and Maus 11, which tell the story of his parents' 
wartime ordeal and paint an indelible portrait of the wid- 

owed father in old age, an insufferable, maddening survivor, 
noble despite himself. The first book, Maus: A Survivors Tale, 
also known as Maus: My Father Bleeds History, won a special 
Pulitzer Prize in 1992. It had the distinction of appearing on 
The New York Times bestseller list as a work of fiction, but af- 
ter Spiegelman s dignified objection, as nonfiction. The sec- 
ond volume, Maus: And Here My Troubles Began, followed in 
1991. Maus, depicting Jews as mice, Nazis as cats and Poles as 
pigs, attracted an unprecedented amount of critical attention 
for a work in the form of comics, including an exhibition at 
the Museum of Modern Art. Before gaining widespread at- 
tention with Maus, Spiegelman had illustrated many of the 
Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids stickers and cards. 
He founded two significant comics anthology publications, 
Arcade and raw, the latter with his wife, Francoise Mouly, 
who later became art editor of The New Yorker. Spiegelman 
worked for The New Yorker for ten years, producing memora- 
ble work, but resigned a few months after the terrorist attacks 
of September 11, 2001. Spiegelman's post- September 11 cover 
for the magazine, inspired by Ad Reinhardt s black-on-black 
paintings, at first appears to be totally black, but upon close 
examination reveals the silhouettes of the World Trade Center 
towers in a slightly darker shade of black. The attack had a pro- 
found effect on Spiegelman, who witnessed the victims' frantic 
last minutes as he left his apartment not far from the site. Spie- 
gelman said his resignation from the magazine was a protest 
against "the widespread conformism of the mass media in the 
Bush era." In 2004 he published In the Shadow of No Towers, 
an attempt to capture the essence of the morning when the 
terrorists struck. It features a series often large- format comic 
strips that ran in the course of a year in eight weekly publica- 
tions around the world. It was printed on thick cardboard and 
had to be held sideways to read each two-page spread. In the 
back, Spiegelman added reprints of some early comic strips, 
from Krazy Kat to Little Nemo in Slumberland, that he said 
gave him comfort after the attacks. Spiegelman was a tireless 
advocate for the medium of comics. He was quoted as saying 
that "comic books are to art what Yiddish is to language - a 
vulgar tongue that incorporates other languages into its mix, 
a vital and expressive language that talks with its hands. It's 
a form that's even laid out like a Talmudic text, a form that 
avoids the injunction against graven images by turning pic- 
tures into words, or at least into word-pictures." 

[Stewart Kampel (2 nd ed.)] 

SPIEGELMAN, SOL (1914-1983) U.S. research microbiolo- 
gist. He was born in New York City, where his interest in bi- 
ology began in childhood. He gained his B.S. in mathematics 
and physics at the College of the City of New York (1933-39), 
a course lengthened by switching from biology and a research 
period at Crown Heights Hospital, Brooklyn (1936-37). He 
earned his Ph.D. in cellular physiology and mathematics 
from Washington University, St Louis (1944), after an initial 
period at Columbia University (1940-42). He worked suc- 
cessively in the bacteriology department of Washington Uni- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



versity School of Medicine (1945-48), as a U.S. Public Health 
Service Fellow at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 
(1948), and at the University of Illinois, Urbana (1948-69), 
where he became professor of microbiology. He returned to 
New York (1969) as director of Columbia University's Institute 
of Cancer Research and professor of human genetics and de- 
velopment in the University's College of Physicians and Sur- 
geons (1975). Spiegelman's research profoundly influenced 
our understanding of the control of normal cell growth and 
its disruption in cancer cells. His work has also had important 
implications for understanding the origins of life in self- rep- 
licating nucleic acid sequences. His experiments were based 
on the novel hypothesis that unregulated activation or deacti- 
vation of genes controlling enzyme production is followed by 
uncontrolled cell growth. Progress in his studies and in mo- 
lecular biology in general was revolutionized by his technical 
innovation, rna/dna hybridization, which made it possible 
to detect and characterize specific rna sequences. Spiegel- 
man and his colleagues first showed that only one strand of 
dna's double helix transmits the genetic information for pro- 
tein synthesis. They also identified and purified the first viral 
nucleic acid polymerase that could detect specific viral rna 
in the rna of infected cells. In his later work his laboratory 
concentrated on methods for screening human cancer tissue 
and the blood of cancer patients for specific viral rna or dna 
sequences or the rna viral enzyme, "reverse transcriptase," 
and for antigens found in cancer cells but not normal cells. 
This, however, has proved to be a difficult and complex field. 
His many honors include the Lasker Award for Basic Medi- 
cal Research (1974) and the Feltrinelli Prize, awarded by the 
Italian National Academy of Sciences (1981). Spiegelman was 
also greatly respected for his early recognition of scientists' 
social responsibilities and for his self-deprecation over the 
fame brought by scientific discovery. 

[Michael Denman (2 nd ed.)] 

SPIELBERG, STEVEN (1946- ), film director, writer, pro- 
ducer. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Spielberg began his career 
early in his youth, directing home movies. At age 13 he entered 
and won his first contest with a 40 -minute war film. While 
attending California State College, he directed five films and 
made his professional debut with a 24-minute short, Amblin, 
which was shown at the 1969 Atlanta Film Festival. Its success 
led to a contract with Universal Studios that soon found Spiel- 
berg directing movies for television such as Duel (1971) and 
Something Evil (1972). His debut as a feature film director was 
Sugarland Express (1974). Spielberg followed this with a series 
of some of the most successful motion pictures in cinema his- 
tory, including Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind 
(Oscar nomination for Best Director, 1977), Raiders of the Lost 
Ark (Oscar nomination for Best Director, 1981), E.T. (Oscar 
nominations for Best Director and Best Picture, 1982), Indiana 
Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the 
Last Crusade (1989), Always (1989), and Jurassic Park (1993). 
Spielberg also attempted more serious cinematic fare with The 

Color Purple (Oscar nomination for Best Picture, 1985) and 
Empire of the Sun (1987), but neither of these films prepared 
the movie-going public for Schindlers List (1993), a brilliant 
and devastating portrait of Oskar *Schindler, an Austrian in- 
dustrialist who saved more than 1,000 Polish Jews during the 
Holocaust. Schindlers List won the 1993 Academy Award for 
Best Picture as well as delivered an Oscar to Spielberg for Best 
Director. In 1990 the Academy of the Motion Pictures, Arts 
and Sciences presented Spielberg with the Irving Thalberg Me- 
morial Award for his ongoing contribution to the Excellence 
of Cinema. Spielberg's subsequent directorial efforts include 
Amistad (1997), Saving Private Ryan (Oscar winner for Best 
Director and nomination for Best Picture, 1998), The Unfin- 
ished Journey (1999), Artificial Intelligence: ai (2001), Minor- 
ity Report (2002), Catch Me If You Can (2002), The Terminal 
(2004), and War of the Worlds (2005). 

Spielberg, who also wears a producer's hat, has released 
more than 100 films and television features since 1978. In 1995 
he co-founded the production company DreamWorks skg 
with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. In addition to pro- 
ducing many of the films he directed, Spielberg was the pro- 
ducer of such films as I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), Con- 
tinental Divide (1981), Poltergeist (1982), Twilight Zone: The 
Movie (1983), Gremlins (1984), Back to the Future (1985), The 
Money Pit (1986), Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988), The Flint- 
stones (1994), Men in Black (1997), The Mask ofZorro (1998), 
the tv series Band of Brothers (Emmy Award for Outstanding 
Mini-series 2001) and Taken (Emmy for Outstanding Mini- 
series, 2002), and Memoirs of a Geisha (2005). 

Spielberg was married to actress Amy *Irving from 1985 
to 1989. Since 1991 he has been married to actress Kate Cap- 

bibliography: F. Sanello, Spielberg: The Man, the Movies, the 
Mythology (1996); J. McBride, Steven Spielberg: A Biography (1997); 
S. Rubin, Steven Spielberg: Crazy for Movies (2001); I. Freer et al., The 
Complete Spielberg (2001). 

[Jonathan Licht / Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

SPIELMAN(N), English family that contributed extensively 
to Jewish and English communal and cultural literature. The 
family was descended from adam spielman (1812-1869), a 
banker, who married the sister of Samuel *Montagu. Adam's 
three best-known sons were sir isidor spielman (1854- 
1925), who was the founder and director of the art exhibi- 
tions branch of the Board of Trade and represented Britain 
at numerous international exhibitions from 1897 onward. 
He organized the Anglo -Jewish Historical Exhibition of 1887 
and was president of the Jewish Historical Society, 1902-04. 
When Russian anti- Jewish excesses were at their height, he 
edited Darkest Russia, a supplement to the Jewish Chronicle 
(1890-92). He was knighted in 1905. marion harry Alex- 
ander spielman (1858-1948), art critic, was editor of the 
Magazine of Art, for 17 years. He wrote on art for the Pall Mall 
Gazette and the Westminster Gazette, and wrote a history of 
the first 50 years of the London satirical weekly, Punch (1895). 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


An authority on portraiture, he wrote The Portraits of Geof- 
frey Chaucer for the Chaucer Society (1901), The Portraits of 
Shakespeare for the Stratford Town Edition of Shakespeare's 
works (1907), and British Portrait Paintings 2 vols., 1910. His 
Iconography of Andreas Vesalius, commissioned by the Belgian 
government, was published in 1925. sir meyer adam spiel- 
man (1856-1936), the third son, was an educator and an in- 
spector of Home Office Schools. He engaged in child welfare 
work, and was knighted in 1928 for his work on the prevention 
of juvenile delinquency. He was a founder and chairman of 
managers of a reformatory school established in 1921 for Jew- 
ish boys (converted to general use in the 1960s because Jew- 
ish child delinquency had almost disappeared). Sir Meyer held 
office in several Jewish charitable societies. His wife, lady 
(gertrude) emily spielman, the daughter of the banker 
George Raphael, was also prominent in social welfare and in 
1919 was the first woman to be elected to the Board of Depu- 
ties of British Jews. Their daughter eva marian hubback 
(1886-1949), educated at Cambridge, was a well-known social 
reformer and educator. She was the principal of Morley Col- 
lege in south London, which was noted for employing lead- 
ing musicians, and was the author of The Population of Brit- 
ain (1947). PERCY EDWIN SPIELMANN (1881-1964), a SOn of 

Marion Spielman, was a chemist who became a leading expert 
on coal tar, petroleum, and road making. 

add. bibliography: odnb online for Eva Hubback; R. Se- 
bag-Montefiore, "From Poland to Paddington: The Early History of 
the Spielman Family, 1828-1948," in: jhset, 32 (1990-92), 237-58; D. 
Hopkinson, Family Inheritance: A Life of Eva Hubback (1954); W.R. 
[Winifred Jessie Spielman], Gertrude Emily Spielman, 1864-1949: A 
Memoir (1950). 

[John M. Shaftesley / William D. Rubinstein (2 nd ed.)] 

SPIELMANN, RUDOLF (1883-1942), Austrian chess master. 
Spielmann was regarded as the most successful of attacking 
chess players. He defeated *Nimzovich, *Tartakover (twice), 
*Reti, Stahlberg, Lundin, Eliskases, Bogoljubow, and Stolz in 
match play and won first prizes in 18 master tournaments be- 
tween 1910 and 1935. 


SPIELVOGEL, CARL (1928- ), U.S. businessman, diplo- 
mat. Born in Brooklyn, n.y., Spielvogel graduated from the 
City College of New York and joined The New York Times as a 
copyboy while an undergraduate. He became a reporter for the 
business section in 1955, and three years later he was named 
the newspapers first advertising columnist. He left the paper 
in i960 to join the advertising firm McCann-Erickson, where 
he rose to executive vice president and general manager before 
joining McCann's parent, the Interpublic Group of Compa- 
nies, in 1972. There he eventually became chairman of the ex- 
ecutive committee. He left Interpublic in 1979 to form Backer 
& Spielvogel, one of the leading advertising agencies of the 
early 1980s. Mergers created Backer Spielvogel Bates World- 
wide, where he was chairman until 1994. At his departure, 
Bates Worldwide was one of the world's leading marketing 

and advertising communications companies, with 185 offices 
in 65 countries. As an entrepreneur, Spielvogel was chairman 
and chief executive officer of United Auto Group, the nations 
largest publicly owned automobile dealership group, from 
1994 to 1997. In 1995 Spielvogel was appointed by President Bill 
Clinton to the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, which 
was responsible for the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, 
and other governmental broadcasting ventures. In 1997 he was 
named chairman of the international board of advisors of The 
Financial Times of London. In 2000, Clinton named him am- 
bassador to the Slovak Republic, where he sought to promote 
trade. He served until 2001. Spielvogel was on the board of a 
number of cultural organizations in New York City, includ- 
ing the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center for the 
Performing Arts, and the Asia Society. He served for more 
than 20 years as a trustee of Mount Sinai Medical Center and 
aided Eureka Communities, which works to rebuild inner cit- 
ies. His wife, Barbara Diamonstein-Spielvogel, is the author of 
18 books on art, architecture, and public policy. 

[Stewart Kampel (2 nd ed.)] 

SPIELVOGEL, NATHAN (1874-1956), Australian author. 
The son of a Galician immigrant who became a goldminer 
and storekeeper, Spielvogel was born in the gold-rush town 
of Ballarat, Victoria. He was raised in a warm, religious at- 
mosphere and, despite the remoteness and isolation of his 
environment, always remained closely attached to Jewish tra- 
dition. Spielvogel gained distinction as one of the only Aus- 
tralian Jewish writers of the era. His first published work, a 
short story entitled "Mike Hardy's Folly," appeared in the Bal- 
larat Courier (Dec. 22, 1894) and for the next sixty years he 
contributed to practically every Australian literary periodical 
and to the Jewish press. As a country schoolteacher, he trav- 
eled widely in the eastern Australian outback and also made 
a journey to London. 

His recorded experiences were first serialized and 
then published in book form. Spielvogel's A Gumsucker on 
the Tramp (1906) was an early Australian best seller, some 
20,000 copies appearing in several editions. Much of what he 
wrote about early Australian bush life is of historical interest 
and importance and in some instances is the only source of 
information. This is also the case with his descriptions of 
Jewish immigrant types arriving from England and Europe. 
Spielvogel portrayed their manner of work and trade and 
their synagogue, communal, and youth activities at the turn 
of the century. A limited edition of his prose and verse, Se- 
lected Short Stories of Nathan Spielvogel, was published in 1956. 
He was a close friend of many noted Melbourne artists 
and writers of his time, including Norman Lindsay. Spielvo- 
gel lived in Ballarat from 1924, serving as a school principal. 
He was a major influence in fostering a Jewish cultural pres- 
ence in Australia at a time when the community was very 

bibliography: N. Spielvogel, in: Journal of the Australian 
Jewish Historical Society, 6 pt. 1 (Dec. 1964), 1-27 (autobiog., ed. by 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



L.E. Fredman). add. bibliography: adb, 12, 36-37; H.L. Rubin- 
stein, Australia 1, 279-80, 440-41. 

[Shmuel Gorr] 

SPIER, LESLIE (1893-1961), U.S. anthropologist. Born in 
New York City, he became a student of Franz * Boas, later 
serving as assistant anthropologist at the American Museum 
of Natural History. From 1939 he taught at the University of 
New Mexico where he established a department of anthropol- 
ogy. Influenced also by R.H. *Lowie and C. Wissler, he did his 
field work on various North American Indian tribes, princi- 
pally among the Zuni and Yumans. 

In North American ethnology Spier studied cultural 
traits over a continuous geographical area to achieve a his- 
torical reconstruction of human history. Such a paper as "Sun 
Dance of the Plains Indians" represents a significant contribu- 
tion to cultural historical analysis by mapping the distribution 
of different elements in a cultural complex. He also studied the 
ghost dance and nativistic movement in the Northern Plains in 
1890. Spier worked among the Indians of the Northern plains 
to salvage the vestiges of dying cultures. 

All of Spiers work is characterized by methodological 
restraint and sobriety. He founded and edited anthropologi- 
cal journals and helped to establish American anthropology 
as an academic discipline. 

bibliography: H.W. Basehart and W.W. Hill, in: American 

Anthropologist, 67 (1965), 1258-77, incl. bibl.; iess, 15 (1968), 130-1, 

incl. bibl. 

[Ephraim FischorT] 

SPIKENARD (Nard; Heb. T13, nerd), spice mentioned three 
times in the Song of Songs. It grew in the imaginary spice 
garden to which the loved one is compared (Song 4:12-14) 
and she perfumed herself with it while waiting for her beloved 
(1:12). According to an ancient baraita, spikenard was one 
of the 11 spices from which the Temple incense was prepared 
(Ker. 6a; see *Incense and Perfumes and Pittum ha-Ketoret). 
It is called spikenard (Nardostachys) because of its appear- 
ance, which is similar to that of an ear of corn. It was extracted 
from the plants Nardostachys jatamansi and N. grandiflora 
that grow in the Himalayas. The name nard is derived from 
the Sanskrit nalada which means "spreading fragrance." This 
highly valued perfume was extracted both from the stalk 
(Lat. spicatum) which is the spikenard and from the leaves 
(Lat. foliatum). The Tosefta mentions polyaton oil among the 
luxuries whose use according to one view was forbidden after 
the destruction of the Temple as a sign of mourning (Tosefi, 
Sot. 15:9). 

bibliography: Loew, Flora, 1 (1926), 309; 2 (1924), 15; 3 
(1924), 483; J. Feliks, Olam ha-Zomeah ha-Mikrai (1968 2 ), 244-5; 
H.N. and A.L. Moldenke, Plants of the Bible (1952), index. 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

SPINA, GERI (Schreiber; 1896-1944), Romanian journal- 
ist. Born in *Jassy, Spina contributed to Romanian papers 
and magazines, including the Jewish periodicals Hatikva and 

Adam. With lsac *Ludo he edited the magazine Absolutio 
from 1913, and in 1914 published poems, Senzatii inutile ("Vain 
Sensations"). In 1934 he published Evreii in Literatura lui 
Ionel Teodoreanu, a study of Jews in the writings of the Ro- 
manian author Teodoreanu. In 1944 he fought for the expo- 
sure of Nazi war criminals in Romania, was arrested, and 
died in prison. 

SPINGARN, two U.S. brothers of wide intellectual inter- 
ests, both devoted to the development of the National Asso- 
ciation for the Advancement of Colored People, joel elias 
spingarn (1875-1939) was a literary scholar and champion 
of African-American integration. The son of an immigrant 
Austrian merchant, Spingarn was born in New York. His doc- 
toral thesis, A History of Literary Criticism in the Renaissance 
(1899), was widely acclaimed by scholars, and he thereafter 
had a successful academic career at Columbia University, be- 
coming professor of comparative literature at the age of 24. 
With Critical Essays of the Seventeenth Century, a three-vol- 
ume work which he edited in 1908, he established himself as a 
recognized exponent of the "New Criticism," which judged art 
on its own terms. However, a clash with Columbia's president, 
N.M. Butler, led to his dismissal in 1910. The correspondence 
between the two men was published a year later as A Question 
of Academic Freedom. Although he continued to publish liter- 
ary criticism, Spingarn never returned to academic work. He 
wrote The New Criticism (1911) and Creative Criticism (1917). 
In 1919, on his return from war service in France, he helped 
to found the publishing firm of Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 
whose editorial consultant he remained until 1932. He edited 
Scholarship and Criticism in the United States (1922), wrote 
Poems (1924), and then retired to his home in Amenia, New 
York, where he became an authority on flower cultivation and 
issued the Troutbeck Leaflets (1924-31), occasional literary pa- 
pers. One of the founders of the naacp and its chairman from 
1913 through to 1919, Spingarn was president of the associa- 
tion at the time of his death. In the association, he served as a 
bridge between the integrationists and the Black nationalists, 
led by W.E.B. Du Bois, editor of the naacp s magazine Cri- 
sis. Although ideologically Spingarn was an integrationist, his 
friendship with and admiration for Du Bois allowed him to 
work with the editor until Du Bois resigned in 1934. 

Arthur barnett spingarn (1878-1971) was a promi- 
nent lawyer active in the New York City Bar Association. His 
interest in questions of the black man led him to begin an ex- 
tensive collection of Black literature, which he gave to How- 
ard University. Resigning his position in the Bar Association 
in 1966, Spingarn, as honorary president of the naacp, con- 
tinued to support the organization and the cause for which 
he and his brother had worked. 

bibliography: Howard University, Libraries, Dictionary 
Catalog of the Arthur B. Spingarn Collection of Negro Authors (1970); 
E. Rudwick, W.E.B. Du-Bois (i960); Crisis, passim; New York Times 
(July 27, 1939, July 14, 1958, Jan. 3,1966). add. bibliography: M. 

Van Deusen, J. E. Spingarn (1971). r „. , ,_, t 

[Richard CohenJ 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


SPINKA, JOSEPH MEIR WEISS OF (1838-1909), zaddik, 
founder of a hasidic dynasty. The son of Samuel Zevi of Mu- 
kachevo (Munkacs), Joseph Meir was the disciple of Shalom 
of *Belz, Mendel of * Vizhnitsa, Isaac Eizik of *Zhidachov, and 
Hayyim *Halberstam of Zanz. On many occasions he visited 
Isaac of Zhidachov and regarded himself as his successor. 
Renowned for his ecstatic prayers, he also practiced extreme 
self-mortification. From 1876 he was revered as a zaddik by 
thousands of followers. 

His works are Imrei Yosef (1910-27), a commentary on 
the Pentateuch in four volumes; Imrei Yosef (1931), sermons 
on the festivals and their customs; Hakdamat Likkutei Torah 
ve-ha-Shas (1911), sermons and an anthology of hasidic teach- 
ings; Perush la-Haggadah shel Pesah (1964); and Tefillot u- 
Minhagim (1912). 

His son, isaac eizik (1875-1944), was murdered by the 
Nazis. He was an outstanding authority on halakhah and fa- 
mous as a cantor. From 1909 he too was a zaddik in Spinka. 
After the outbreak of World War 1, he took his family and 
his retinue to Mukachevo, where he established his bet mi- 
drash and yeshivah. There he remained for a few years and, 
as in Spinka, his bet midrash became a center of learning and 
Hasidism. After the war he moved to Selishche, where he also 
established a large bet midrash that continued for 14 years. 
Isaac is the author of Hakal Yizhak. His grandson jacob Jo- 
seph weiss, who was regarded as the most prominent leader 
of Spinka Hasidism after the Holocaust, maintained a yeshivah 
in Jerusalem. There were two additional zaddikim of Spinka 
Hasidism in Israel, grandsons of Joseph Meir of Spinka. 

bibliography: Weiss, Imrei Yosef, 1 (1910), introd.; A. Feuer, 

Zikhron Avraham (1924); A.S. Weiss, Peer Yosef (1934); Hasidut Spinka 

ve-Admoreha (1958); J.L. Levin, Beit Spinka (1958); A. Stern, Melizei 

Esh, 1 (1962), 206, no. 120; S. Rozman, Zikhron Kedoshim (1968), 


[Esther (Zweig) Liebes] 

SPINOZA, BARUCH (Bento, Benedictus) DE (1632-1677), 
philosopher born in Amsterdam of Portuguese background, 
who became one of the most important representatives of the 
rationalist movement in the early modern period. 


In the Jewish and National Library in Jerusalem, Spinoza's 
writings, unlike those of Jewish philosophers such as Philo 
of Alexandria or Maimonides, are not in the Judaica reading 
room, but in the general reading room, between the writings 
of Descartes and Leibniz. The decision of the library reflects 
a broad consensus in the way his work is perceived: Spinoza 
is not considered a Jewish thinker but one who belongs to the 
general history of philosophy. To be sure, Spinoza was excom- 
municated from Amsterdam's Jewish community for things 
he apparently said and did as a young man, and he went on 
to become the most radical and arguably the most interesting 
thinker of the early modern period. From the end of the 17 th 
century onward his work played a central role in a variety of 
intellectual contexts: from the Enlightenment and German 

Idealism to the "higher criticism" of the Bible. Today Spino- 
za's ideas are debated not only in philosophical circles of both 
analytical and continental orientation, but also among scien- 
tists such as the neurologist Antonio Damasio, who claims 
that his research confirms how Spinoza conceived the rela- 
tionship between body, mind, and affects of human beings. 
And yet, Spinoza's relationship to Judaism, and in particular to 
Jewish philosophy, is complicated: it is marked by continuity 
and criticism that sometimes remain in unresolved tension. 
Much of his philosophical project is, in fact, best understood 
in light of the Jewish background. In Spinoza's thought ideas 
from many sources come together, ranging from Plato to the 
Kabbalah. But of particular importance are, on the one hand, 
various traditions of Jewish thought and, on the other, the 
writings of Descartes and Hobbes which were at the center 
of philosophical discussions in the Netherlands of Spinoza's 
time. His first commitment, of course, was not to this or that 
intellectual current, but to the truth: "I do not claim to have 
found the best philosophy, but I know that I understand the 
true one [sed veram me intelligere scio]" (Letter 76). 

Life and Works 

Spinoza's father, Michael (d. 1654), fled from Portugal to the 
relatively tolerant Dutch republic where, he became a mem- 
ber of Amsterdam's Sephardi community and a successful 
merchant. Spinoza studied Hebrew, the Bible, and rabbinic 
literature at the local talmud torah school. The community's 
most renowned scholars, Isaac Aboab, Menasseh ben Israel, 
and Saul Levi Morteira, were presumably among his teach- 
ers and influenced him directly or indirectly. Aboab trans- 
lated Abraham Cohen Herrera's kabbalistic treatise Puerta 
del Cielo (The Gate of Heaven), with which Spinoza seems to 
have been familiar, from Spanish into Hebrew. Morteira, who 
inclined to a rationalist interpretation of religion, could have 
introduced him to medieval Jewish philosophy. Menasseh 
ben Israel edited in 1628 the Sefer Elim by the Galilei student 
Joseph Delmedigo, of which Spinoza had a copy, and that 
may have introduced him into post-Copernican cosmology. 
Through Menasseh, Spinoza may also have made his first ac- 
quaintance with Christian thought, as well as with the ideas 
of Isaac La Peyrere, against whose treatise, Prae-Adamitae, 
Menasseh wrote a refutation. Spinoza later used the book 
for his critique of Scripture; among others, La Peyrere claims 
that Moses was not the only author of the Pentateuch and 
that human beings existed before Adam and Eve. When his 
half-brother, Isaac, died in 1649 Spinoza's help was required 
in the family's importing business. Although an outstanding 
student, he could thus not complete the higher level of the 
educational curriculum which would have prepared him for 
a career as a rabbi. The process that led to Spinoza's alienation 
from traditional Judaism, culminating in his excommunica- 
tion (herem) in 1656, cannot be precisely reconstructed from 
the available sources. A significant role must presumably be 
assigned to heterodox Jewish thinkers in Amsterdam such as 
Uriel da Costa, who had been excommunicated twice a gen- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



eration earlier and whose writings Spinoza certainly knew, 
and Juan de Prado, who was excommunicated at the same 
time as Spinoza. Despite the unusual harshness of the her em, 
it does not make explicit the content of the accusations, men- 
tioning only "abominable heresies" and "monstrous deeds." 
But from various indirect sources Spinoza's views that were 
perceived as heretical can be established with reasonable cer- 
tainty: they seem to have included the denial that the Torah 
is of divine origin, the denial that the immortality of the soul 
is a biblical doctrine, and a "philosophical" concept of God 
incompatible with that of popular tradition. All three issues 
show a certain affinity to doctrines of Da Costa and appear 
to have been endorsed in one way or another by De Prado as 
well. Spinoza probably explained and defended his views in a 
treatise now lost, but whose Spanish title is preserved in later 
sources: Apologia para justificarse de su abdicacion de la sina- 
goga ("Defense to justify his departure from the synagogue"). 
There are good reasons for assuming that some of the mate- 
rial contained in the Apologia was later incorporated into the 
first part of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (ttp; "Theologi- 
cal-Political Treatise"). 

The encounter with the former Jesuit and freethinker, 
Franciscus van den Enden, played an important role in Spino- 
za's intellectual development. In van den Enden's school, which 
he already started to frequent before his excommunication, 
Spinoza learned not only Latin, but was also introduced into 
ancient literature and philosophy, as well as into contempo- 
rary debates, in particular those provoked by the writings of 
Descartes and Hobbes. Descartes presumably also occupied 
an important place in his studies at the University of Leiden, 
at the time a center of Dutch Cartesianism. That Spinoza had 
mastered Descartes' philosophy is clear from his Principia Phi- 
losophiae Cartesianae ("Principles of Cartesian Philosophy"), 
an exposition of Descartes' Principia Philosopiae in the "the 
geometric manner," published in 1663 together with an ap- 
pendix, Cogitata Metaphysica ("Metaphysical Thoughts"), that 
reflects both medieval Jewish and Scholastic sources. Neither 
presents Spinoza's own views, as he instructed his friend and 
doctor, Lodewijk Meyer, to emphasize in a preface introduc- 
ing the two works. On the contrary: the treatises originate in 
notes that Spinoza used for teaching his student Caesarius, 
concerning whom he urges his friends "not to communicate 
my views to him until he has reached greater maturity" (Let- 
ter 9). Indeed, even earlier Spinoza had made no secret of his 
disagreement with Descartes on fundamental issues such as 
"the first cause and origin of all things" (Letter 2). 

But whereas the scope of Descartes' influence on Spinoza 
and its relation to the influence of Jewish philosophers remain 
an object of controversy among scholars, it is uncontroversial 
that already in his earliest writings devoted to the exposition 
of his own philosophy Spinoza appears as a highly original 
thinker. Between the end of the 1650s and the beginning of 
the 1660s he was working on two treatises: the Tractatus de 
Intellectus Emendatione ("Treatise on the Emendation of the 
Intellect"), which remained incomplete and was published 

only in the Opera Posthuma, and a first outline of his meta- 
physics, anthropology, epistemology, and ethics which was 
intended for circulation only among his friends, apparently 
because he feared that "the theologians of our time" would 
attack him with "their usual hatred" (Letter 6). Already the 
work's title, Korte Verhandelingvan God, de Mensch en des zelfs 
Welstand ("Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Wellbeing"), 
names the constitutive themes of Spinoza's philosophical proj- 
ect. From 1661 to 1675, he systematically reworked the ideas 
sketched in the Korte Verhandeling into his main philosophi- 
cal work, the Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata ("Ethics 
Demonstrated According to the Geometrical Method"). In 
1665 Spinoza interrupted his work on the Ethica for several 
years to set forth his critique of religion and his political phi- 
losophy in the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus ("Theological- 
Political Treatise"), published anonymously in 1670. His goal 
was to contribute to defending the freedom of thought and 
religious tolerance, which had been secured in the Dutch re- 
public governed by Jan de Witt, but now seemed threatened 
by the alliance of monarchists and Calvinist orthodoxy. Since 
the critique of religion is grounded on a critique of Scripture, 
and the correct understanding of Scripture requires a thor- 
ough understanding of Hebrew (ttp 7), Spinoza's Compen- 
dium Grammatices Linguae Hebraeae ("Compendium of the 
Grammar of the Hebrew Language") can be seen as a tool for 
carrying out the critical theological-political project. But the 
striking parallel between the account of nouns, adjectives, and 
participles in the Hebrew Grammar and the account of sub- 
stance, attributes, and modes in the Ethica also suggests an 
interesting (if unclear) connection to Spinoza's metaphysics. 
The scandal triggered by the critique of religion in the ttp led 
to the book's prohibition in 1674. Under these circumstances 
Spinoza did not even attempt to publish the Ethica. Like the 
Tractatus Politicus ("Political Treatise") that he was not able to 
complete and the equally unfinished Hebrew Grammar, it ap- 
peared only in 1677 in the Opera Posthuma. Finally, Spinoza's 
extant correspondence must be mentioned which contributes 
significantly to clarifying specific issues in his work. 


outline of the philosophical project. The Tractatus 
de Intellectus Emendatione (tie) begins with a description, 
stylized as autobiographical, of the author's conversion to the 
philosophical life. An examination in the Socratic sense leads 
to the decision to turn away from "what men consider to be 
the highest good [summum bonum] ," i.e., "wealth, honor, and 
sensual pleasure," in order to seek the "true good" that pro- 
vides the "highest joy [summa laetitia] eternally." The passage, 
whose immediate source is a treatise by the Jewish Renais- 
sance Platonist Leone Ebreo, takes up the foundational con- 
cern of ancient ethics: the quest for the good life. Since the tie 
was originally conceived as a methodological introduction to 
Spinoza's philosophical system, this opening passage in a sense 
provides the point of departure for his philosophical project 
as a whole. Indeed, choosing a life devoted to the pursuit of 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


knowledge would surely be a mistake if it were not the best 
life. The Ethica, as before the Korte Verhandeling, can be seen 
as the guide to that goal which Spinoza describes as "happi- 
ness [beatitudo]" and as "salvation [salus]" (Ethica v, Prop. 36, 
Schol.). The true good for Spinoza is God. What leads to this 
good is "understanding" culminating in "knowledge of God 
[Dei cognitio]" (Ethica iv, Prop. 27 and 28). Since knowledge 
of God and of things "insofar as we conceive them to be con- 
tained in God and to follow from the necessity of the divine 
nature" (Ethica v, Prop. 29, Schol.) is accompanied by "joy [la- 
etitia] ," it gives rise to the "intellectual love of God [Amor Dei 
intellectualis]" (Ethica v, Prop. 32, Cor.). Spinoza speaks in this 
context of knowledge "under the aspect of eternity [sub specie 
aeternitatis]" (Ethica v, Prop. 29) because both God and things 
conceived as necessarily following from God are eternal and 
immutable. From knowledge of eternal things Spinoza draws 
a conclusion that continues to puzzle scholars: that the part of 
the mind which loves God intellectually becomes itself eter- 
nal, i.e., is in some way preserved after the destruction of the 
body (Ethica v, Prop. 22 and Prop. 23). It seems, therefore, that 
"salvation" for Spinoza is a form of intellectual immortality. 
But the Ethica not only intends to instruct the reader how to 
reach happiness and salvation; in a way it also puts these in- 
structions into practice. The geometric form of the argument, 
which deduces philosophical propositions from definitions 
and axioms, entails a claim to definitive validity. From the first 
part, that demonstrates God's existence and characteristics, to 
the fifth part, that shows how human freedom consists in the 
activity of intellectually loving God, the Ethica can be seen as 
part of the knowledge sub specie aeternitatis. In this sense it 
contributes to bringing the quest for the "true good" to con- 
clusion that was the point of departure of the tie. At the end 
of the "road [via] " set out in the Ethica the seeker is prepared 
to turn into a "wise man [sapiens] 9 * who "suffers scarcely any 
disturbance of spirit, but being conscious, by virtue of a cer- 
tain eternal necessity, of himself, of God and of things, never 
ceases to be, but always possesses true spiritual contentment 
[animi acquiescentia]" (Ethica v, Prop. 42, Schol.). Many of 
the arguments on which Spinoza's project of the good life re- 
lies - from those for the intellectual love of God to those for 
the immortality of the mind - were articulated in similar ways 
by Jewish rationalists such as Abraham Ibn Ezra, Maimonides, 
Gersonides, and Leone Ebreo. It is presumably in their writ- 
ings that Spinoza encountered them for the first time. 

metaphysics. In order to show of what the good life con- 
sists, it is necessary to understand the nature of human beings 
and their place in the order of existents. This in turn requires 
understanding the nature and order of existents themselves. 
The first part of the Ethica is thus devoted to ontology. Since 
for Spinoza ontology and philosophical theology coincide, it 
is titled De Deo (About God). By identifying God with real- 
ity as a whole, Spinoza radically breaks with the concept of 
divine transcendence. God neither is located outside the nat- 
ural order, nor does he lack what Spinoza takes to be the es- 

sential attribute of the physical world: extension. In light of 
this it is not surprising that he can speak of "God or Nature 
[Deus sive Natura]" (Ethica iv, Praef). God is defined as "an 
absolutely infinite being [ens absolute infinitum], i.e., a sub- 
stance consisting of infinite attributes, each of which expresses 
eternal and infinite essence" (Ethica 1, Def. 6). According to 
this definition, God encompasses all logically possible kinds 
of being, each of which is infinite in its kind. But only two 
kinds can be apprehended by human beings: "thought [cogi- 
tatio]" and "extension [extensio], i.e., the essential attributes 
of the two realms of reality accessible to us. God, therefore, is 
both "thinking thing" and "extended thing," but also an infi- 
nite number of other things that lie beyond human cognition 
(Ethica 11, Prop. 1 and 2 and Letter 64). That God exists follows 
from the fact that the concept of a substance with infinite at- 
tributes is not contradictory (Ethica 1, Prop. 10, Schol.) and 
that the essence of a substance entails its existence (Ethica 1, 
Prop. 11). Since the existence of two substances with the same 
attribute is impossible (Ethica 1, Prop. 5), and since God has 
all attributes, Spinoza's substance monism follows: "Except for 
God no substance can be or be conceived" (Ethica 1, Prop. 14). 
This God is not static, but has an "active essence [essentia ac- 
tuosa]" (Ethica 11, Prop. 3, Schol.) and produces as "immanent 
cause [causa immanens]" (Ethica 1, Prop. 18) "infinite many 
things in infinite many ways" {Ethica 1, Prop. 16) in himself 
"with the same necessity by which he apprehends himself 
[seipsum intelligat] yy (Ethica 11, Prop. 3, Schol.). Spinoza here 
takes up and modifies the doctrine of God found in the writ- 
ings of medieval Jewish Aristotelians who conceived God as 
the activity of a pure intellect apprehending itself (Ethica 11, 
Prop. 7, Schol.). The difference is that Spinoza's God is not only 
intellectual activity but also extending activity and an infinite 
number of other activities. Spinoza holds, moreover, that in- 
creasing God's ontological scope does not conflict with God's 
unity, for "the thinking substance and the extended substance 
are one and the same substance, comprehended now under 
this now under that attribute" (ibid.). Since Jewish rationalists 
before Spinoza took God to be incorporeal, the attribution of 
extension to God appears to be a fundamental departure from 
their premises. But also this step had been prepared by the 
Jewish critic of Aristotelianism, Hasdai Crescas, who argued 
for the existence of an infinitely extended empty space which 
he describes as a "metaphor [dimayon]" for God. Moreover, 
Spinoza uses arguments drawn from Crescas in Ethica 1, Prop. 
15, Schol. for defending God's extension. It would thus be in- 
accurate to say that Spinoza substitutes a philosophical God 
for a religious God. His move beyond medieval philosophy is 
better characterized as an attempt to solve specific ontological 
problems arising from the causal relation, which his predeces- 
sors had to posit between an incorporeal God and a corporeal 
world. As absolutely infinite activity that produces all logically 
possible kinds of being, Spinoza's God is all-powerful (Ethica 1, 
Prop. 35). Although he is not free to choose what he does, he 
is free in the sense that his activity is determined only by the 
necessity of his own nature (Ethica 1, Prop. 17, Cor. 2). Since 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



the same necessity governs the order of things that God cre- 
ates in himself, this order is completely determined (Ethica i, 
Prop. 29). In this context the distinction between creator and 
creation is replaced through that between natura naturans and 
natura naturata (ibid., Schol.) of which the former refers to 
substance insofar as it is an active cause and the latter to the 
infinite number of modifications produced under each of its 
attributes. Like substance, the series of modes is one; it con- 
sists in ideas when considered under the attribute of thought, 
in extended things when considered under the attribute of ex- 
tension, and in an infinite number of other things when con- 
sidered under the attributes unknown to us (Ethica 11, Prop. 7, 
Schol.). There are two kinds of modes: those of the first kind 
are eternal and infinite and subdivided into modes following 
immediately from one of God's attributes and modes that are 
mediated through a mode following immediately from one of 
God's attributes. Modes of the second kind, by contrast, are 
transitory and finite. Since an eternal and infinite thing can- 
not be the cause of a transitory and finite thing, it is unclear 
how the modes of the second kind are supposed to be caused 
by God. Although Spinoza does not address the problem, a 
possible solution is to take finite modes to be dependent on 
God not individually, but as an eternal and infinite chain of 
causes and effects. Spinoza also makes little effort to explain 
the first kind of modes. The "infinite intellect" is the mode 
immediately following from the attribute of thought, "motion 
and rest" the mode immediately following from the attribute 
of extension, and the "face of the whole universe [fades totius 
universi]" a mediate eternal and infinite mode of extension 
(Letter 64). The notion of "motion and rest" suggests that Spi- 
noza has the fundamental laws of nature in mind. The "face 
of the whole universe" appears to refer to the stable order of 
nature, since Spinoza links the notion to Ethica 11, Lemma 7, 
Schol., where "the whole of nature" is described as an infinite 
individual that remains unchanged, while its constituents vary 
in infinite ways. 

In an appendix to the first part of the Ethica, Spinoza 
explains the devastating consequences of his philosophi- 
cal theology for popular views of God. A providential God, 
who interferes in the course of nature according to his free 
will, rewards and punishes, and performs miracles, is noth- 
ing but the "refuge of ignorance [asylum ignorantiae]" of the 

epistemology, psychology, and ethics. From the sub- 
sequent parts of the Ethica it is clear that Spinoza is not inter- 
ested in a general account of the order of modes, but in the 
structure of one particular mode: the human being, consist- 
ing of "mind and body [mens et corpus]" (Ethica 11, Prop. 13, 
Cor.) which - as in the case of substance and all other modes - 
are one and the same thing considered under the attribute of 
thought and under the attribute of extension. While Spinoza 
thus avoids the problems involved in dualistic accounts of 
mind and body, the unity he assumes is not without obscuri- 
ties of its own. He describes the mind as the idea of the body 

(Ethica 11, Prop. 13) and its cognitive power as corresponding 
to the body's complexity and hence ability to interact with its 
environment (ibid., Schol. and Prop. 14). Of particular im- 
portance for Spinoza's epistemology are the three kinds of 
knowledge that he distinguishes in Prop. 40, Schol. 2: "imag- 
ination [imaginatio]" which draws on random sense-percep- 
tions and their arbitrary association; "reason [ratio]" which 
draws on common notions and adequate ideas of the proper- 
ties of things; finally "intuitive knowledge [scientia intuitiva]" 
which infers the essence of things from the essence of God's 
attributes. Whereas the first kind of knowledge is fallible, the 
other two kinds are necessarily true (Ethica 11, Prop. 41). Al- 
though a true idea must correspond to its object (Ethica 1, Ax. 
6), this is not the criterion of truth for Spinoza. What is deci- 
sive is if the idea is "adequate" or not, whereby an "adequate" 
idea is one that has the "intrinsic characteristics of a true idea" 
(Ethica 11, Def. 4). As a consequence, "he who has a true idea 
knows at the same time that he has a true idea, and cannot 
doubt its truth" (Ethica 11, Prop. 43). Truth thus becomes "the 
standard both of itself and of falsehood [norma sui et falsi]" 
(ibid., Schol.). 

The third part of the Ethica contains Spinoza's psychol- 
ogy in form of a theory of human affects. Crucial for under- 
standing the affects is the striving "to persist in one's being" 
(Ethica in, Prop. 6) which Spinoza calls conatus and takes to 
be the essence of all things. Only God has absolutely unlim- 
ited power in himself to attain the goal of the conatus. The 
power of the modes, on the other hand, depends on God 
and is limited to varying degrees within the order of nature, 
which necessarily follows from God's essence, and in which 
the modes are determined by God to act on one another. In 
human beings the conatus takes on the form of "desire [appe- 
titus or cupiditas]" which gives rise to two further basic affects: 
"joy [laetitia]" and "sadness [tristitia]" The former is caused 
by an object that increases a person's power and whose pos- 
session is, therefore, desired. The latter is caused by an object 
that decreases a person's power and which he or she will thus 
attempt to avoid (Ethica in, Definition of the Affects 1-3). Fun- 
damental, moreover, is the distinction between active affects, 
of which human beings are the "adequate cause," and passive 
affects that are caused by external objects. With this, Spinoza 
has set up the conceptual framework for a detailed account 
and explanation of human affects "in the geometric manner" 
(Ethica in, Praef.), as well as for the ethical discussion of the 
fourth and fifth part of the Ethica. 

Spinoza's ethics is clearly egoistic: to act virtuously means 
"to preserve one's own being [...] under the guidance of rea- 
son," which in turn means to act with a view to "one's own 
advantage [proprium utile]" (Ethica iv, Prop. 24). As a conse- 
quence, goodness or badness are not inherent properties of 
things or actions but depend on their utility or lack of util- 
ity for attaining the objects of desire (Ethica iv, Def. 1 and 
2). Since intellectual perfection is the highest level of power 
accessible to human beings, they - insofar as they are ratio- 
nal - desire nothing but "understanding [intelligere]" (Ethica 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


iv, Prop. 26) which, as already indicated, has the "knowledge 
of God" as its ultimate goal. This, therefore, is "the highest 
good" and the "highest virtue" of the mind (Ethica iv, Prop. 
27 and 28). The power derived from understanding is mani- 
fold: it liberates human beings at least to some extent from 
the "bondage [servitus]" to passive affects, since next to the 
highest good, external things that are good or bad, but beyond 
their control, become less important. Moreover, their affec- 
tive reaction to what happens to them will diminish and their 
tranquility increase through the knowledge that all things 
are predetermined and that human beings are "part of the 
whole of nature" (Appendix). By means of the better rational 
control over their affects, human beings become less vulner- 
able to external causes that toss them back and forth "like the 
waves of the sea when driven by contrary winds" (Ethica in, 
Prop. 59, Schol.). At the same time, intellectual activity is an 
active affect and entirely under our control. It thus represents 
the highest form of freedom in the sense of self-determina- 
tion accessible to human beings. Since knowledge sub specie 
aeternitatisy according to Spinoza, allows the mind to partici- 
pate in God's eternity, it constitutes the goal of the striving to 
"persist in one's being." Finally, the increase in power gained 
through understanding is a source of constant joy, leading to 
the "intellectual love of God." 

It is important to note that Spinoza takes his ethical ego- 
ism to be perfectly compatible with the wish to give to one's 
fellow human beings every possible assistance to attain the 
same degree of perfection that one desires for oneself. For 
"no individual thing in nature is more advantageous to man 
than a man who lives by the guidance of reason" (Ethica iv, 
Prop. 35, Cor. 1). Moreover, in contrast to material goods, "the 
greatest good," i.e., knowledge of God, "can be enjoyed by all 
equally" (Ethica iv, Prop. 36). Solidarity and mutual help are 
thus good for purely utilitarian reasons. 

critique of religion. The Tractatus Theologico-Politicus 
also fits into Spinoza's project of the good life. Its goal may 
be described as creating the conditions for the project's im- 
plementation. After all, a philosophical life cannot be led by 
someone who does not have the "freedom to philosophize 
[libertas philosophandi]" or whom the "prejudices of theo- 
logians" prevent from "devoting [applicare]" his life to phi- 
losophy. These, according to Spinoza, were the main reasons 
for working out his critique of religion in the ttp (Letter 30). 
The chief purpose of this critique is to show that Scripture 
can make no legitimate claim to truth. This will take away 
both the fear felt by the potential philosopher when a dem- 
onstrated proposition conflicts with a theological doctrine 
and the authority of the theologian to persecute a person for 
holding views that disagree with the teachings of Scripture. 
Of crucial importance for attaining this purpose are the first 
two chapters of the TTP y which deal with "prophecy or revela- 
tion [prophetia sive revelation] " and with the biblical prophets. 
Spinoza recurs to a distinction between intellect and imagina- 
tion that was common in the Aristotelian tradition and that 

Maimonides had already used for explaining prophecy. Ac- 
cording to Maimonides, the prophet has both a highly devel- 
oped intellect and a highly developed imagination, whereby 
the latter allows him to translate his intellectual insights into 
a simple and vivid language that can be understood by his un- 
educated audience. According to Spinoza, on the other hand, 
the prophet does not excel through his "more perfect intel- 
lect," but only through his "more lively imagination [potentia 
vividius imaginandi]" (ttp 2). Prophetic discourse, therefore, 
has no true cognitive content; it is only persuasive through 
images and symbols which are adjusted to the audience's lim- 
ited capacity for understanding and help securing obedience 
to the law. Moreover, Spinoza intends to show through a de- 
tailed examination of the meaning of biblical terms that when 
the Bible describes the prophets as being filled with "the spirit 
of God or the holy spirit," it only intends to highlight their 
"exceptional virtue." This is an implicit attempt to refute the 
doctrine of the Calvinist Church which grounds the author- 
ity of Scripture on its super- rational inspiration by the holy 
spirit (ttp 1). Prophecy thus understood is neither specifi- 
cally Jewish, nor can a claim to "election [vocatio] " be derived 
from it. For Spinoza Israel's election refers only to the political 
success of the ancient Hebrew state based on Moses' legisla- 
tion. The election ended with the state's disintegration. That 
the Jewish people nonetheless continues to exist he explains 
through its insistence to keep up "external rituals" such as the 
"sign of circumcision [signum circumcisionis]" through which 
it sets itself apart from other nations and provokes their ha- 
tred (ttp 3). Moses' legislation, in particular the "ceremonial 
law [ceremoniae]" (ttp 5), is exclusively political in nature. 
As a "human law [lex humana]" (ttp 4) it aims only at "pre- 
serving life and the commonwealth," promising no more than 
"worldly happiness [temporaneafoelicitasY to those who ob- 
serve it (ttp 5). By contrast, the "divine law [lex divina]" aims 
at the "highest good, i.e., the true knowledge and love of God," 
thus leading to "man's highest happiness [summa hominis 
foelicitas]" (ttp 4). Also the distinction between human and 
divine law Spinoza took over from Maimonides, at the same 
time turning it against its original intention. Whereas Maimo- 
nides identified the Torah with the divine law and presented 
Moses as a philosopher and lawgiver in the Platonic sense, 
Spinoza demotes Moses to a simple lawgiver whose legisla- 
tion became obsolete after the downfall of the Hebrew state. 
This reversal of the Maimonidean model is a good example 
for the influence of Uriel da Costa and other Jewish hetero- 
dox thinkers on Spinoza. Their denial that the immortality of 
the soul is a biblical doctrine presumably underlies his claim 
that the Mosaic Law only promises "worldly happiness," and 
not eternal happiness which is the reward of "the true knowl- 
edge and love of God." 

Also the miracles related in Scripture cannot be used as 
testimony for the authority of revelation, since miracles in 
the sense of God suspending the laws of nature are impos- 
sible in the order of nature, which is eternally and necessarily 
determined through God's essence. The reason for the belief 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



in miracles, according to Spinoza, is the ignorance of causal 
connections (ttp 6). 

The demolition of the traditional notion of revelation al- 
lows Spinoza to refute the premises of the exegesis promoted 
by Maimonides which attempts to harmonize philosophy and 
Scripture. In Spinoza's view this amounts to the "distorting and 
explaining away of Scripture" (ttp 7) with the goal to "extract" 
from it "Aristotelian nonsense [nugas Aristotelicas]" (ttp 1). It 
allows him likewise to refute the central claim underlying the 
hermeneutics of the Calvinist Church: that the understand- 
ing of Scripture requires the super- rational illumination by 
the holy spirit. Against these approaches Spinoza calls for the 
unconditional acceptance of Scriptures literal sense based on 
the methodological principle that "the knowledge of all the 
contents of Scripture must be sought from Scripture alone." 
The focus is no longer the "truth [veritas] " of a proposition in 
Scripture but its "meaning [sensus]" (ttp 7). In order to de- 
termine the meaning, the Bible scholar proceeds in an analo- 
gous way to the scientist whose aim is to explain nature. Both 
work out a "history [historia] ," i.e., a methodological account, 
of the object of their study (ibid.). For the Bible scholar this 
means collecting and ordering the data contained in Scripture 
and then interpreting them in light of the relevant historical 
and socio -cultural contexts, as well as the psychological pecu- 
liarities of the prophets, insofar as these can be reconstructed 
from the available sources. In much of his discussion in the 
preceding chapters Spinoza follows the methodological rules 
laid out in ttp 7 and shows that from a philosophical point 
of view almost every statement in Scripture is false. 

In ttp 8-10 he goes on to examine the composition and 
transmission of the biblical books. Taking a number of cryptic 
remarks in Abraham Ibn Ezra's commentary on the Bible as 
his point of departure, Spinoza arrives at the conclusion that 
much of the Pentateuch cannot have been written by Moses. 
He likewise questions the traditional attribution of several 
other books of the Bible. The comprehensive rejection of the 
claim to truth of revelation leads to the goal of the theological 
part of the ttp: the strict separation of philosophy and reli- 
gion. The authority to determine truth and falsehood belongs 
only to philosophers who rely on rational insight. The task of 
theologians, relying on revelation, is to assure "obedience [obe- 
diential " to the law by teaching - like the prophets led by their 
imagination - "pious dogmas" whose truth is not important. 
Philosophy and theology thus become two independent dis- 
ciplines: "the goal of philosophy is nothing but the truth, the 
goal of faith is nothing but obedience" (ttp 14). Consequently 
"reason" cannot be "the handmaid of theology [ancilla theolo- 
giae] nor theology the handmaid of reason [ancilla rationis]? 
Spinoza calls the former position "skepticism," for it "denies 
the certainty of reason," and exemplifies it through Judah Al- 
fakhar, one of the leaders of the opposition to philosophy in 
medieval Judaism. Alfakhar is a stand-in for the position of 
the Calvinist Church, which Spinoza refrained from attacking 
openly. The latter position he calls "dogmatism" and illustrates 
it by means of Maimonides' philosophical exegesis which re- 

interprets every biblical passage that contradicts a doctrine 
established by reason (ttp 15). From this point of view the 
ttp marks the end of classical Jewish philosophy, whose fun- 
damental premise was the agreement of revelation with all 
propositions demonstrated by reason. More importantly: it 
destroys the traditional notion of religion as a whole insofar 
as it is grounded on the truth of revelation. In this lies one of 
Spinoza's most momentous contributions to modernity. 

religion as a replacement of philosophy. Neverthe- 
less, Spinoza's attitude to religion is considerably more com- 
plicated. For despite the radical critique of religion, there are 
a significant number of passages throughout his work - from 
the Cogitata Metaphysica to the Tractatus Politicus and the late 
correspondence with Henry Oldenburg - in which he attri- 
butes a true core to Scripture, often presented as its allegorical 
content. This striking inconsistency seems to stem from a two- 
fold commitment that Spinoza was ultimately unable to recon- 
cile: he not only wants to criticize religion in order to defend 
the freedom to philosophize; he also wants to use religion as 
a replacement of philosophy for non-philosophers. The con- 
cept of religion as a replacement of philosophy which guides 
non-philosophers to virtue is precisely the "dogmatic" view of 
Maimonides (and, in fact, the standard view of medieval Is- 
lamic and Jewish philosophers) that Spinoza rejects in the ttp. 
The main idea is that the positive content of religion - biblical 
narratives, laws, rituals and so forth - is a pedagogical-politi- 
cal program designed by philosophers to guide non-philoso- 
phers. The allegorical content of religion, on the other hand, 
corresponds to the doctrines demonstrated in philosophy. 
Religion's authority thus depends on the assumption that the 
teachings of religion are true on the allegorical level. Before 
Spinoza started working on the ttp in 1665, he consistently 
endorsed the dogmatic position whenever he discussed the 
character of Scripture (Cogitata Metaphysica 11,8 and the cor- 
respondence with W. van Blyenbergh between 1664 and 1665). 
But different versions of it reappear also in his later writings. 
They include the attribution of true moral convictions to the 
biblical prophets (ttp 1 and 2), the attribution of true meta- 
physical doctrines such as God being causa immanens to "all 
ancient Hebrews" (Letter 73), the presentation of Christ as an 
accomplished philosopher instructing non-philosophers by 
means of allegories (ttp 4; cf. e iv, Prop. 68, Schol.), and the 
claim that the "uncorrupted" core of Scripture corresponds 
to the "universal religion" described in the ttp (12-14). None 
of these can be justified through the exegetical method that 
Spinoza claims to have adopted in the ttp: "to neither affirm 
anything of [Scripture] nor to admit anything as its teaching 
which I did not most clearly derive from it" (ttp Preface). The 
textual evidence gives rise to a number of questions: why did 
Spinoza adopt the medieval position in his early writings, why 
did he refute it in the TTP y and why did he continue to make 
use of it even after having refuted it? For one thing, Spinoza 
clearly shares the view of Maimonides and many other medi- 
eval philosophers that the good life based on knowledge (i.e., 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


the life he himself chose according to the opening passage of 
the tei and for which the Ethica serves as a guide) is accessible 
only to a small group of philosophers: "only a few in propor- 
tion to the whole of humanity acquire a virtuous disposition 
under the guidance of reason alone" (ttp 15; cf. Ethica v, Prop. 
42, Schol.). This leads to the question how guidance can be 
provided to non-philosophers. The evidence of Spinoza's early 
writings shows that he in principle agrees with the medieval 
solution which takes the positive content of religion to be a 
pedagogical-political program designed to lead non-philoso- 
phers to virtue. A second reason for adopting the medieval po- 
sition is that the perception of philosophy as coinciding with 
the allegorical content of religion facilitates its acceptance in 
a religious society Finally, the medieval position, which has 
philosophy determine the true core of religion, neither seems 
to interfere with Spinoza's philosophical project in the Ethica 
nor with the freedom to philosophize that he sets out to de- 
fend in the ttp. But if this is the case, why did he refute it at 
all? It is clear that Spinoza's main opponent in the ttp is not 
the "dogmatic" position represented by Maimonides, but the 
"skeptical" position of the Calvinist Church, in particular the 
view that the authority of Scripture overrides the authority 
of reason. This he takes to be the chief threat to the freedom 
to philosophize (ttp Preface). The only efficient way to re- 
fute this position, in Spinoza's view, is to show that Scripture 
contains no truth. But although the medieval position and 
the position of the Reformed Church are in a sense opposed 
to each other, both depend in different ways on the premise 
that Scripture is true. Thus the refutation of the one entails 
the refutation of the other. While his target is the Reformed 
Church, Spinoza has no choice but to give up the medieval 
position as well. At the same time he has no new solution for 
the problem of non-philosophers. This explains why, despite 
its refutation, he continues to use the dogmatic position in 
various contexts in his later writings. 

political philosophy. In the Ethica Spinoza argues that 
the essence of human beings is the conatus, i.e., the striving "to 
persist in one's being." In the political part of the ttp and in 
the Tractatus Politicus y following Thomas Hobbes, he equates 
the power to do so with a person's natural right in the state 
of nature, and explains the social contract as the decision to 
submit to a sovereign power in exchange for peace and safety 
(ttp 16). But, against Hobbes, Spinoza maintains that the nat- 
ural right is not given up under the social contract: "the su- 
preme power in a state has no more right over a subject than 
is proportionate to the power by which it is superior to the 
subject" (Letter 50). 

Besides Hobbes, Spinoza was also influenced by ancient 
political thought, in part mediated through medieval Jewish 
sources. Indeed, the fear of being harmed through the power 
of others is not the only motive for forming a political com- 
munity. Since, on their own, human beings are not self-suf- 
ficient, they must collaborate with one another. Hence the 
Aristotelian definition "which makes man a social animal, 

has been quite pleasing to most." Spinoza in any case is cer- 
tain that "we derive from the society of our fellow men many 
more advantages than disadvantages" (Ethica iv, Prop. 35, 
Schol.). Moreover, according to Spinoza, social harmony is 
weakened when the actions of the citizens are guided by the 
idiosyncratic goals of their passions, whereas it is strengthened 
when their actions are guided by reason which prescribes the 
same goal to all (idem, Dem.). It follows that the "end [finis] ," 
for which the state is established, is not simply peace in the 
sense of "the absence of war [privatio belli]" its positive aim 
is to enhance the rationality of the citizens, i.e., their virtue, 
for "reason" is the "true virtue and life of the mind" (Tractatus 
Politicus 5, iv - vi). Since Spinoza equates virtue and knowl- 
edge, culminating in the intellectual love of God, and since he 
takes the "uncorrupted" true core of Scripture to be the call 
"to love God above all and one's neighbor as oneself" (ttp 
12), the fundamental convergence of the purpose of his phil- 
osophical, religious, and political project becomes apparent: 
to foster a community based on solidarity and on freedom of 
thought, whose members assist one another in attaining the 
best life, i.e., a life devoted to the love of God. 

influence. Although during the first century after his death 
Spinoza was less famous than infamous, reviled as a notorious 
atheist, his influence was nonetheless considerable: not only 
on philosophers such as Leibniz, but, most importantly, on 
the different currents of the unfolding Enlightenment. Indeed, 
some scholars argue that the Enlightenment of the 18 th century 
was no more than apost-scriptum to the dynamic of the radi- 
cal Enlightenment set off by Spinoza's writings. He determined 
the intellectual agenda not only of those who agreed with him, 
but also of those who attempted to refute him and of those 
who adopted intermediate positions (cf. J. Israel). The most 
fruitful reception of his philosophy took place in Germany in 
the second half of the 18 th century. The event which put Spi- 
noza's work at the very center of the thriving German intellec- 
tual culture of the time was the so-called "PantheismusstreiC 
This quarrel broke out when EH. Jacobi accused Lessing after 
his death of being a crypto-Spinozist, in a public exchange of 
letters with Moses Mendelssohn that was widely debated in 
Germany's literary and philosophical circles and stirred up 
renewed interest in Spinoza's thought. A typical response to 
Jacobi's identification of Spinozism with atheism was that of 
the great Romantic poet Novalis, who described Spinoza as a 
"God-intoxicated man." Spinoza also significantly contributed 
to shaping Goethe's worldview, as well as that of many other 
central figures of Germany's literary scene. In a dedication that 
J.G. Herder wrote into a copy of Spinoza's Opera Posthuma, 
given to Goethe as a Christmas gift in 1784, he expresses his 
wish that the "holy Spinoza" may always remain their "holy 
Christ." In philosophy, Spinoza's ontological monism influ- 
enced the systems of German idealists probably as much as 
Kant's criticism. According to Hegel, Spinoza's thought is the 
"essential beginning of all philosophizing [wesentliche Anfang 
alles Philosophierens]? Nietzsche arrived at the conclusion 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



that his own philosophical project agreed with Spinoza's on 
most fundamental issues. As mentioned in the introduction, 
Spinoza today continues to be debated by philosophers of a 
wide range of intellectual affiliations. Turning to his critique 
of religion, Spinoza may be said to have laid the foundation 
for the scientific study of the Bible. He also had a consider- 
able impact on Jewish thinkers, beginning with David Nieto in 
the 17 th century. In Jewish Haskalah circles of the 18 th century, 
Mendelssohn's cautious Spinoza- reception stands next to Sa- 
lomon Maimon's enthusiastic encounter with Spinoza's system 
that he relates in his Autobiography. Maimon's metaphysics, 
which takes up and combines ideas derived from Maimonides 
and Spinoza, was the first to make the transition from Kant 
to an idealist position. Spinoza also left his imprint on 19 th - 
century maskilim. Moreover, he became an important source 
of the secular wo rldview of prominent Zionists, among them 
David Ben-Gurion who proposed to revoke the herem against 
him. Albert Einstein wrote a poem "On Spinoza's Ethics." His 
"God who does not throw dice" clearly has Spinozistic fea- 
tures, as does his notion of a "cosmic religion." 

[Carlos Fraenkel (2 nd ed.)] 

As a Bible Scholar 

Spinoza's biblical criticism in part follows earlier attempts, 
but integrates them for the first time into a rational system, 
laying the groundwork for all later critical works on the Bible 
up to the present. His biblical criticism is closely connected 
to his philosophical system and political project. Based on 
the knowledge of the Bible that he acquired in his childhood, 
and after long years of reflection, his critical views of the Bible 
were expressed in the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus> as well as 
in a few letters and conversations. In opposition to the many 
misuses of the Bible that he observed in Judaism and Christi- 
anity, Spinoza developed what he took to be the true method 
of biblical exegesis. Every person has the right to engage in 
biblical interpretation; it does not require supernatural illu- 
mination or special authority. Spinoza's supreme principle 
is that the Bible must be interpreted on its own terms. The 
method of the interpretation of the Bible is the same as the 
method of the interpretation of nature. "For, as the method 
of interpreting nature consists essentially in putting together 
a history [i.e., a methodical account] of nature, from which, 
as from sure data, we deduce the definitions of natural phe- 
nomena, so it is necessary for the interpretation of Scripture 
to work out a true history of Scripture, and from it, as from 
sure data and principles, to deduce through legitimate infer- 
ence, the intention of the authors of Scripture" (ttp 7). The 
history of Scripture should comprise three components: (1) an 
analysis of the Hebrew language; (2) the compilation and clas- 
sification of the expressions [sententiae] of each of the books 
of the Bible; (3) research into the original contexts of the bib- 
lical writings, as far as they still can be ascertained, i.e., into 
"the life, the conduct, and the pursuits of the author of each 
book, who he was, what was the occasion and the epoch of 
his writing, whom did he write for, and in what language. 

Further it should inquire into the fate of each book: how it 
was first received, into whose hands it fell, how many differ- 
ent versions there were of it, by whose advice was it received 
into the Canon, and lastly, how all the books now universally 
accepted as sacred were united into a single whole" (ibid.). In 
accordance with this program, Spinoza analyzed the biblical 
writings in an attempt to determine their authors (ttp 8-10). 
He spelled out, and substantially expanded on, the consider- 
ations that led the medieval commentator Abraham Ibn Ezra 
to allude to the possibility that the Pentateuch did not derive 
in its entirety from Moses. Although some of the Pentateuch 
did originate with Moses (The Book of the Wars of God, the 
Book of the Covenant, the Book of the Law of God), it was 
only many centuries after Moses that the Pentateuch as a 
whole appeared. The Pentateuch, together with the books of 
Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, forms a single larger his- 
torical work, whose author, Spinoza conjectures, was Ezra. 
Ezra was prevented by his premature death, or perhaps some 
other reason, from revising these books. They contain numer- 
ous repetitions and contradictions, e.g., of a chronological na- 
ture, that lead to the conclusion that the wealth of material was 
compiled from works of different authors, without being ar- 
ranged and harmonized. 1 and 11 Chronicles were written long 
after Ezra, perhaps even after the restoration of the Temple by 
Judah Maccabee. The Psalms were collected and divided into 
five books in the Second Temple period; Proverbs is from the 
same period or, at the earliest, from the time of Josiah. The 
Prophetic books contain only fragments assembled from other 
books, but not in an order established by the prophets. Spi- 
noza adopts Ibn Ezra's hypothesis concerning Job, according to 
which Job was translated from a gentile language; if this were 
the case it would entail that the gentiles also had holy books. 
Daniel is authentic only from chapter 8 on; the previous chap- 
ters, presumably taken from Chaldean chronicles, are in any 
case an indication that books can be holy even though they 
are not written in Hebrew. The Book of Daniel forms with the 
books of Ezra, Esther, and Nehemiah a work by a historian 
who wrote long after the restoration of the Temple by Judah 
Maccabee, using the official annals of the Second Temple in 
his work. These theories lead to the conclusion that the canon 
could have originated only in the time of the Hasmoneans. It 
is a work of the Pharisees, not Ezra, in whose time the Great 
Assembly did not yet exist. Spinoza criticizes various deci- 
sions of the Pharisees, such as the inclusion of Chronicles in 
the canon and the rejection of the Wisdom of Solomon and 
Tobit, and he regrets "that holy and highest things should de- 
pend upon the choice of those people." Spinoza discovers in 
the Prophets numerous contradictions in their conceptions 
of natural and spiritual phenomena. He concludes that God 
adapted his revelation in these matters to the limited intellec- 
tual power of the prophets, and that philosophical knowledge 
is not to be found in their works. The purpose of the revela- 
tion to the prophets is rather to teach the right way of life to 
an uneducated audience (ttp 1-2). The example of Balaam in- 
dicates that there were prophets not only among the Hebrews. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


The election of the Hebrews should not be understood as an 
indication that they excelled over other nations with respect 
to intellect and virtue; their election refers only to their politi- 
cal kingdom and ended with the latter s downfall (ttp 3). The 
ceremonies prescribed in the Bible, in fact the entire Mosaic 
law, were applicable only as long as the kingdom lasted; after 
it ended they no longer contributed to happiness and bless- 
edness (ttp 4-5). According to Spinoza, stories in the Bible 
are not to be believed literally; they are intended to instruct 
the members of the community, who could not comprehend 
philosophical arguments in which propositions are deduced 
from definitions and axioms (ttp 5). Spinoza is aware of the 
difficulties that stand in the way of a conclusive understand- 
ing of the Bible on the basis of his method, for example our 
incomplete knowledge of Hebrew and of the circumstances 
of the composition of the biblical books, some of which (in 
particular those of the New Testament) are not extant in the 
language in which they were composed (ttp 7). 

[Rudolf Smend / Carlos Fraenkel (2 nd ed.)] 

bibliography: sources: Spinoza, Opera, ed. C. Gebhardt, 
4 vol., (1925); The Collected Works of Spinoza, vol. 1, ed. and Eng. 
trans. E. Curley (1985); Complete Works, Eng. trans. S. Shirley, ed. 
M.L. Morgan (2002); scholarly literature: M. Joel, Spinozas 
theologisch-politischer Traktat auf seine Quellen gepriift (1870); idem, 
Zur Genesis der Lehre Spinozas (1871); J. Freudenthal, "Spinoza und 
die Scholastik," in: Philosophische Aufsatze - Eduard Zeller zu seinem 
funfzijahrigen Doctor-Jubilaum gewidmet (1887), 85-138; idem, Die Le- 
bensgeschichte Spinozas (1899); idem, Spinoza, Leben und Lehre (1927); 
K.O. Meinsma, Spinoza en zijn kring (1896; French trans. 1983); H.H. 
Joachim, A Study of Spinozas Ethics (1901); C. Gebhardt, "Spinoza 
und der Platonismus," in: Chronicon Spinozanum, 1 (1921), 178-234; 
L. Roth, Spinoza, Descartes and Maimonides (1924); L. Strauss, Die 
Religionskritik Spinozas als Grundlage seiner Bib elwissenschaft (1930; 
Eng. trans. 1965); idem, "How to Study Spinozas Theological-Political 
Treatise" in: Proceedings of the American Academy of Jewish Research, 
17 (1948), 69-131; H.A. Wolfson, The Philosophy of Spinoza: Unfolding 
the Latent Process of His Reasoning, 2 vol. (1934); IS. Revah, Spinoza 
et Juan de Prado (1959); S. Zac, Spinoza et V interpretation de lecriture 
(1965); M. Gueroult, Spinoza I, Dieu (1968); idem, Spinoza 11, L'Ame 
(1974); S. Pines, "Spinozas Tractatus, Maimonides and Kant," in: 
Scripta Hierosolymitana, 20 (1968), 3-54; A. Matheron, Le Christ et le 
salut des ignorants chez Spinoza (1971); W.Z. Harvey, "Maimonides and 
Spinoza on the Knowledge of Good and Evil," in: Iyyun, 28:4 (1978), 
167-185 (Heb.); idem, "A Portrait of Spinoza as a Maimonidean," in: 
Journal of the History of Philosophy, 19:2 (1981), 151-72; C. Cramer, 
W.G. Jacobs, W. Schmidt-Biggemann (eds.), Spinozas Ethik und ihre 
frtihe Wirkung (1981); J.P. Osier, D'Uriel da Costa a Spinoza (1983); 
J. Bennett, A Study of Spinozas Ethics (1984); K. Grunder and W. 
Schmidt-Biggemann (eds.), Spinoza in der Fruhzeit seiner religiosen 
Wirkung (1984); J. Dienstag, "The Relation of Spinoza to the Philoso- 
phy of Maimonides," in: Studia Spinozana, 2 (1986), 375-416; H.E. Al- 
lison, Benedict de Spinoza - An Introduction (1987); R.H. Popkin, and 
M.A. Singer, Spinozas Earliest Publication? (1987); E. Curley, Behind 
the Geometrical Method - A Reading of Spinozas Ethics (1988); Z. Levy, 
Baruch or Benedict - On Some Jewish Aspects of Spinozas Philosophy 
(1989); Y. Yovel, Spinoza and Other Heretics, 2 vols. (1989); M. Dor- 
man, The Spinoza Dispute in Jewish Thought - From David Nieto to 
David Ben-Gurion (Heb. 1990); M. Delia Rocca, Representation and 
the Mind-Body Problem in Spinoza (1996); S.B. Smith, Spinoza, Lib- 

eralism, and the Question of Jewish Identity (1997); S. Nadler, Spinoza: 
A Life (1999); J. Israel, Radical Enlightenment (2001); J.S. Preus, Spi- 
noza and the Irrelevance of Biblical Authority (2001); H. Ravven and 
L. Goodman (eds.), Jewish Themes in Spinozas Philosophy (2002); C. 
Jaquet (ed.), Les Pensees metaphysiques de Spinoza (2004); J. Lagree, 
Spinoza et le debat religieux: lectures du traite theologico -politique 
(2004); Y. Melamed, "Salomon Maimon and the Rise of Spinozism," 
in: Journal of the History of Philosophy, 42:1 (2004), 67-96; C. Fraen- 
kel, "From Maimonides' God to Spinozas Deus sive Natura? in: Jour- 
nal of the History of Philosophy, 44:2 (2006). 

1633), Polish kabbalist. Spira, who was born in Cracow, main- 
tained a well-known yeshivah. During the last years of his life 
he apparently served as head of the rabbinic court. One of the 
first protagonists in Poland of pseudo-Lurianic Kabbalah, 
particularly in the version disseminated by Israel *Sarug, he 
was interested mainly in the mysticism of numbers rather 
than in systematic speculation. His Megalleh Amukkot, pub- 
lished by his son after his early death (Cracow, 1637), became 
one of the classics of Ashkenazi Kabbalah and was reprinted 
several times. It offered 252 interpretations of one single pas- 
sage, Moses' prayer in Deuteronomy 3:23 ff The author was 
"intoxicated" with numbers; he was concerned less with us- 
ing the qualities of numbers in order to elucidate matters of 
Kabbalah and halakhah than in employing the Kabbalah as 
material for showing his great power with different numerical 
combinations, and there is no doubt that he had an extraordi- 
nary mathematical mind. Where other people think in words, 
he thought in numbers. His way of thinking and interpret- 
ing was frequently imitated by kindred spirits in the next 200 
years. Spira mentions a similar book of his in which he had 
interpreted the letter alef in the word Va-Yikra in Leviticus 1:1 
(which is written in a particularly small form) in 1,000 differ- 
ent ways. His commentary on the whole Pentateuch was not 
published until much later (Lvov, 1785), under the same title. 
The rabbinical approbations of an elaborate commentary on 
Spira's classic by David b. Moses from Zuelz were published in 
Dyhernfurth in 1707, but the work itself never appeared. 

bibliography: S.A. Horodezky, in: lyyim, 1, section 4 (1928), 
54-61; }. Ginzburg, in: Ha-Tekufah, 25 (1929), 488-97; S.A. Horodezky, 
Shelosh Meot Shanah shel Yahadut Polin (1946), 127-32; G. Scholem, 
in: rhr, 143 (1953), 34-36. 

[Gershom Scholem] 

SPIRE, ANDRE (1868-1966), French poet and Zionist leader. 
Born in Nancy, Spire was descended from an old established 
family of Lorraine and the son of a rich industrialist. After 
studying law, he became a member of the Conseil d' Etat in 
1894, specialized in employment problems at the French Min- 
istry of Labor (1898-1902), and was inspector general in the 
Ministry of Agriculture from 1902 to 1926 when he retired. 
Spire was roused from his assimilationist lethargy by the 
*Dreyfus Affair, in which he played an active role. He fought 
a duel with the antisemite * Drumont, and struggled to gain a 
revision of the trial. Much to the dismay of assimilated French 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Jewry, Spire speedily became a militant advocate of Jewish na- 
tional revival, first supporting the Russo-Jewish self-defense 
organizations during the pogroms, then organizing the Asso- 
ciation des Jeunes Juifs in order to organize the recent Jewish 
immigrants to France. Writing from Basle where he was at- 
tending a Zionist Congress in 1911, Spire declared: "The most 
despicable Jews are those who deny their own identity. . . They 
were cursed by the Prophets and will be banished from the 
New Jerusalem... . Assimilation is death. Zionism is life." Af- 
ter the Balfour Declaration, Spire founded in 1918 the Ligue 
des Amis du Sionisme, and a year later represented the French 
Zionists at the Paris Peace Conference; in 1920 he joined a del- 
egation to Erez Israel. Following a rift with *Weizmann, Spire 
withdrew from active participation in official Zionism. Dur- 
ing World War 11 he took refuge in the U.S., where he taught 
and lectured on French culture and poetry. He worked for 
refugees during the Nazi period, and supported Hillel Kook's 
activist "Hebrew National Liberation Movement" on the eve 
of the birth of the State of Israel. 

Spire is best remembered as the leader of the Jewish re- 
vival movement in 20 th -century French literature, and also as 
a literary theorist and innovator. His verse, which overflows 
with passion and humor, defends freedom and justice, and 
chastises the cowardly and the rich. Spires main verse collec- 
tion, Poemes Juifs (1919, 1959 3 ), lashes the assimilated and calls 
for a Jewish revolt. In Samael (1921) Spire develops a dramatic 
vision of good and evil, man's destiny and happiness. His in- 
exhaustible verve also expressed itself in tales such as the fan- 
ciful "Le Rabbin et la Sirene" (in Mercure de France > Aug. 15, 
1931; "The Rabbi and the Siren," in J. Leftwich, Yisroel y 1933, 
rev. 1963); his critical judgment and insight appears in the 
essays Quelques Juifs (1913), enlarged in a second edition as 
Quelques Juifs et demi-Juifs (2 vols., 1928). He was a rare com- 
bination of a Frenchman attached to his country and steeped 
in its culture, and of a Jew, fully identified with the spiritual 
and national aspirations of his people. 

bibliography: S. Burnshaw Andre Spire and his Poetry 

(!933)> essays and translations; Hommage a Andre Spire (1939); C. 

Lehrmann, in: Revue des Cours et Conferences (June 15, 1938), 465-79; 

idem, in: Lelement Juif dans la Litterature Francaise, 2 (1961), 145-54; 

P.M. Schuhl, in: Cahiers de I'Alliance Israelite Universelle (Sept.-Oct. 

1959), 51-64; P. Jamati, Andre Spire (Fr., 1962), incl. bibl.; P. Moldaver, 

La Technique Poetique d'Andre Spire (1966); L'Amitie Charles Peguy 

Feuillets Mensuels, 132 (1967). 

[Moshe Catane] 

SPIRO, EUGEN (1874-1972), U.S. painter, illustrator, print - 
maker. Son of Abraham Beer Spiro, chief cantor of the Storch 
Synagogue, Breslau, Spiro studied in Breslau, Munich, and 
France. He studied with Franz van Stuck at the Munich Acad- 
emy of Art. After visiting Paris from 1906 to 1914, he traveled 
to Berlin, where he taught at the Staatlichen Kunstschule and 
chaired the Berlin Secession. He immigrated to Paris in 1935 
after the Nazis stripped him of his position and qualifications 
and denounced his portraits as "degenerate." He was impris- 
oned at the French concentration camp of Gurs; however, in 

1941 Spiro and his family successfully escaped Nazi-occupied 
France, fleeing to New York via Marseilles and Portugal, in 
part through the support of Alfred H. Barr, the director of the 
Museum of Modern Art. Spiro was active as a painter of land- 
scapes, which reflected his study of Cezanne, van Gogh, and 
the Impressionists. He also made still lifes, self-portraits, and 
interiors, and was well known for his portraits, including those 
of Leni Riefenstahl (1924), Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, and 
the artist Balthus in 1947. The latter artist was his nephew, and 
Spiro also painted a portrait of his sister Elisabeth Dorothea 
Spiro, Balthus' mother, as a strict schoolteacher in 1902. Spiro 
made numerous simple but descriptive drypoint etchings of 
North African subjects, including soldiers, snake charmers, 
and the Alhambra, all of which seek to invoke the images with 
exoticism. He taught at the Wayman Adam School in Eliza- 
bethtown, New Jersey. His work is in the collections of the Fine 
Arts Museum, San Francisco. He exhibited at the Museum of 
Modern Art and the St. Etienne Galerie, New York. The Gal- 
erie von Abercorn in Cologne mounted a retrospective of his 
work in 1978. A catalogue raisonne of his art, edited by Wilko 
von Abercron, was published in 1990. 

bibliography: S. Barron, Exiles and Emigres: The Flight of 
European Artists from Hitler (1997); S. Rewald, "Balthus Lessons: Five 
Controversial Works by the French Artist," in: Art in America (Sept. 
1977); W. Schwab and J. Weiner, Jewish Artists: the Ben Uri Collection: 
Paintings, Drawings, Prints, and Sculpture (1987). 

[Nancy Buchwald (2 nd ed.)] 

SPIRO, GYORGY (1946- ), Hungarian novelist, poet, and 

literary historian. His volume of essays A kozep-kelet-europai 

drama ("The Drama in Central-East-Europe," 1986) analyzes 

the political era. He dealt mainly with historical and Slavonic 


[Eva Kondor] 

SPIRO, KARL (1867-1932), German physiological chem- 
ist. Born in Berlin, he worked at the University of Strasbourg 
from 1894 until 1918, when it became difficult there for Ger- 
mans, and he went to Switzerland. From 1921 he was professor 
of physiological chemistry at the University of Basle. He was 
one of the first to apply concepts of physical chemistry to 
biology, such as pH buffering, and chemical kinetics to en- 
zyme actions. He discovered some of the building blocks 
of proteins, such as pyrrolidinecarboxylic acid and phenyl- 

SPIRO, MELFORD ELLIOT (1920- ), U.S. anthropologist. 
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Spiro received his Ph.D. from North- 
western University in 1950. He taught at Connecticut Univer- 
sity from 1952 to 1957; from 1957 to 1964 he was professor at 
Washington University, and from 1965 to 1967 at the Univer- 
sity of Chicago. In 1968 he became a founding member of the 
Department of Anthropology at the University of California, 
San Diego. After retiring from teaching, he was named pro- 
fessor emeritus of anthropology at ucsd. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Spiro's primary research interest is the comparative anal- 
ysis of social systems, especially problems of cultural motiva- 
tion and control, and the interrelation of personality, culture, 
and society In a theoretical chapter in Studying Personality 
Cross-Culturally (ed. B. Kaplan, 1961), he discussed culture 
and personality study in relation to the central issue in the 
social sciences - the explanation of social cohesion and func- 
tioning. He saw personality and culture as systems of motiva- 
tional tendencies. Among his studies were Kibbutz: Venture 
in Utopia (1956) and Children of the Kibbutz: A Study in Child 
Training and Personality (1958), based on his research in the 
kibbutz as a participant observer. He analyzed the child-rear- 
ing methods on the collective settlements and the outcome in 
the personality of the kibbutz child. He also conducted field- 
work in Micronesia and Burma. In 1991 he received the Dis- 
tinguished Contribution Award from the Society for Psycho- 
logical Anthropology. 

Spiro's publications include Burmese Super naturalism 
(1967), Buddhism and Society (1970), Gender and Culture: 
Kibbutz Women Revisited (1979), Oedipus in the Trobr lands 
(1982), Culture and Human Nature (1987), and Gender Ideol- 
ogy and Psychological Reality (1997). He also edited Context 
and Meaning in Cultural Anthropology (1965). 

[Ephraim Fischoff / Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 

SPITZ, MARK ANDREW (1950- ), U.S. swimmer, holder 
of the record for most gold medals won in a single Olympics 
with seven, and tied for most gold medals overall with nine; 
member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and U.S. 
Olympic Hall of Fame. Born in Modesto, California, the el- 
dest of three children to Lenore and Arnold, a steel executive, 
Spitz began swimming at age two, when his family moved to 
Honolulu and Spitz would swim at Waikiki Beach every day. 
The family returned to California four years later, and Spitz 
received his first competitive training at six at the Sacramento 
ymca. By the time he was 10, he held 17 national age -group 
records and one world record, the 50 -yard butterfly, which he 
completed in 31 seconds, and was named "the worlds best 10- 
and-under swimmer." The family moved to Santa Clara when 
Spitz was 14, so he could train at the famed Santa Clara Swim 
Club. In 1965 at age 15, he swam at the Maccabiah games in 
his first international competition, winning four gold medals. 
At age 16 he won the 100 -meter butterfly at the 1966 National 
aau Championships, the first of his 24 aau titles. The next 
year he won five gold medals at the Pan-American Games in 
Winnipeg, and laid claim to ten world records. By the time 
Spitz was 18, he had won 26 national and international titles, 
and broken 10 world and 28 U.S. records. At the 1968 Olym- 
pic Games in Mexico City, where much was expected of him, 
Spitz came away disappointed after predicting he would win 
six gold medals. He won two gold medals, in the 4 x 100 m and 
4 x 200 m freestyle relays, a silver medal in the 100m butter- 
fly, and bronze in the 100m freestyle. Spitz spent the next four 
years at Indiana University, winning almost every conceivable 
award and setting almost every world record in existence, as 

he prepared for the 1972 Olympics in Munich. He returned 
to Israel for the 1969 Maccabiah Games, winning another six 
gold medals. By the spring of 1972, Spitz had set 23 world re- 
cords and 35 U.S. records. Driven by ambition and sheer sin- 
gle -mindedness, Spitz won seven Olympic gold medals in 1972 
at the Munich Games - a feat unequaled by any Olympic ath- 
lete - with a world record in each of the seven events (the 100 
m freestyle, 200 m freestyle, 100 m butterfly, 200 m butterfly, 
4 x 100 m and 4 x 200 m freestyle, and the 4 x 100 m med- 
ley). The next week he was on the September 11, 1972, cover of 
Time magazine. Spitz's 11 total medals in the two Olympics are 
tied for the most medals ever won by a U.S. Olympian. Hours 
after he won his last medal, Palestinian terrorism claimed the 
lives of 11 Israeli sportsmen, and security personnel whisked 
Spitz out of Munich. Over his career, Spitz set 26 individual 
world records in the freestyle and butterfly, contributing to 
another seven relay world records; 38 American records; 24 
National aau championships; and eight ncaa titles. He was 
named "World Swimmer of the Year" in 1967, 1971, and 1972 
and became the first Jewish recipient of the James E. Sullivan 
Award in 1971, given annually to the Amateur Athlete of the 
Year. Spitz attempted a comeback at age 41 in an attempt to 
qualify for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, after filmmaker Bud 
^Greenspan offered to pay him a million dollars if he suc- 
ceeded in qualifying. Filmed by Greenspans cameras, Spitz 
failed to beat the qualifying limit - his best time was 58:03, 
but he needed 55:59. Spitz was named a member of the Inter- 
national Swimming Hall of Fame in 1977 and the U.S. Olym- 
pic Hall of Fame in 1983. He wrote The Mark Spitz Complete 
Book of Swimming (1976) and his autobiography, Seven Golds: 
Mark Spitz Own Story (1981). 

[Elli Wohlgelernter (2 nd ed.)] 

SPITZ, RENE A. (1887-1974), child psychiatrist and psycho- 
analyst. Born in Vienna, Spitz worked in Hungary, Austria, 
and France before he immigrated to the United States at the 
end of the 1930s. From 1940 to 1957 he was on the faculty of 
the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, where he became a 
research consultant in pediatrics and psychiatry. During part 
of this time he was an adjunct psychiatrist at the Mount Sinai 
Hospital, New York City (1940-43). As visiting clinical pro- 
fessor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado's school of 
medicine from 1957, he was active in the fields of psychoanaly- 
sis, psychiatry, and normal and disturbed infant development. 
He was vice president of the New York Psychoanalytic Society 
(1950-52). In 1959 he published Genetic Field Theory of Ego 
Formation. After his retirement, he went to live in Geneva, 
Switzerland, where he continued to teach and write. 

Spitz earned international fame for his pioneering re- 
search in infant development. In order to clarify psychoana- 
lytic theories that had previously been based in the retrospec- 
tive analysis of adults, he carried out direct observation and 
photographic documentation of infant behavior. His observa- 
tion of children in hospitals led to one of his most important 
contributions to psychoanalytic theory - the concept of ana- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



clitic depression, a severe disturbance of infant development 
resulting from separation from a maternal object and leading 
to malnutrition and sometimes death. This condition was re- 
garded by subsequent analysts as an attachment disorder. The 
books Spitz wrote in his later years, No and Yes (1957) and The 
First Year of Life (1965) provide rich documentary evidence 
on the early development of infant communication, percep- 
tual development, relation to objects, and development of the 
mother-child relationship. In them, Spitz tried to conceptual- 
ize early development and to correlate the psychological the- 
ory of Jean Piaget (1896-1980) with psychoanalytic theory. 

add. bibliography: H. Gaskill, Counterpoint: Libidinal 
Object and Subject: A Tribute to Rene A. Spitz (1963); R. Emde (ed.), 
Rene A. Spitz: Dialogues from Infancy (1984). 

[Joseph Marcus] 

SPITZER, ELIOT (1959- ), New York State attorney general. 
Born in the Bronx in New York City, Spitzer graduated from 
Princeton University in 1981 and received his J.D. degree from 
Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard 
Law Review in 1984. He clerked for U.S. District Court Judge 
Robert W. Sweet in New York, then entered private practice at 
the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison. 

From 1986 Spitzer worked as an assistant district attor- 
ney in Manhattan, under District Attorney Robert Morgen- 
thau. He pursued investigations into organized crime, eventu- 
ally becoming chief of the Labor Racketeering Unit. In 1992, 
in perhaps his most famous case, Spitzer led the investiga- 
tion into the Gambino family's control of trucking in Man- 
hattan's garment industry. That same year he left the District 
Attorney's office and joined the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, 
Meagher, and Flom, and he was later a partner at Constan- 
tine and Partners. 

In 1994 Spitzer made his first bid for the office of New 
York State Attorney General. He failed to win the Democratic 
nomination, and Democratic candidate Karen Burstein lost 
the general election to Dennis Vacco. Spitzer again sought 
the nomination in 1998, this time successfully, and defeated 
Vacco in the general elections. In 2002 he was reelected with 
a large margin. 

As attorney general, Spitzer was credited with redefining 
the role of the office, taking on cases that formerly had been 
deferred to federal prosecution. His office investigated secu- 
rities fraud, insurance practices, occupational safety, market- 
ing fraud, and violations of environmental protection. Time 
magazine named him "Crusader of the Year" in 2002. That 
year Spitzer sued several investment banks for inflating stock 
prices by, among other practices, using affiliated firms to of- 
fer biased advice. He negotiated a settlement of these lawsuits 
for $1.4 billion in compensation and fines, and new rules were 
imposed for analysis of the market. Also in 2002, he filed suits 
to address violations of the Clean Air Act. 

In 2004 Spitzer's office investigated the music indus- 
try, uncovering $50 million in unpaid royalties to musicians. 
Numerous other cases addressed commissions in the insur- 

ance industry, disclosure policies regarding clinical trials 
in the pharmaceutical industry, and fraud in the market- 

Spitzer announced in 2004 that he would seek the Demo- 
cratic nomination for governor of New York in 2006. Senator 
Charles Schumer, who had been favored in the polls, had an- 
nounced that he would not run but would remain in his Sen- 
ate seat. Governor George Pataki announced in 2005 that he 
would not seek reelection, and Spitzer was considered a strong 
candidate for not only the Democratic nomination but in a 
run against possible Republican contenders. 

[Dorothy Bauhoff (2 nd ed.)] 

SPITZER, FREDERIC (Samuel; 1814-1890), Hungarian- 
born collector and dealer in paintings, armor, and objets 
dart. Spitzer, son of a cemetery guard, began by selling a Du- 
erer painting he bought cheaply in Italy while serving with 
the Austrian army in 1848. He later dealt in old weapons 
and armor. He settled in Paris and built up a magnificent 
collection which the French state offered to buy. Spitzer re- 
jected this offer and the collection was sold after his death 
for ten million francs. The armor was purchased by King Ed- 
ward VII. 

SPITZER, HUGO (1854-1937), Austrian philosopher and 
scientist. Spitzer, who was born in Einoede, Carinthia, was 
professor of philosophy and natural science at Graz from 1903 
to 1924. He was an ardent supporter of Darwin and wrote Bei- 
traege zur Deszendenztheorie und zur Methodologie der Natur- 
wissenschaft (1886). In common with Haeckel, Spitzer claimed 
that consciousness could be derived from matter (in his Ueber 
Ursprung und Bedeutung des Hylozoismus (1881)). Spitzer also 
wrote Kritische Studien zur Aesthetik der Gegenwart (1897), 
and Untersuchungen zur Theorie und Geschichte der Aesthetik 
(1923 2 ), in which he tried to clarify the relationship between 
aesthetics and the philosophy of art. 

bibliography: Zeitschrift fuer Aesthetik und allgemeine 
Kunstwissenschaft, 18 (1924), Festschrift H. Spitzer; E. Binder, in: Ar- 
chiv fuer Philosophie und Soziologie, 30 (1926), 181-90. 

[Richard H. Popkin] 

SPITZER, JURAJ (1919-1995), Slovak writer, literary critic, 

scriptwriter. Spitzer was born in Krupina, Slovakia. In 1944 he 
participated in the Slovak National Uprising against the Ger- 
mans. From 1951 to 1970 he worked at the Institute of Slovak 
Literature of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. In 1970 he lost 
his job (punishment for his activities in 1968). Spitzer wrote 
several movie scripts and a number of stories, such as Patrim 
k vdm ("I Belong to You," 1964) about the political trials of the 
1950s and Letnd nedela ("The Summer Sunday," 1991). The nar- 
rative Nechcel som byt'Zid ("I Did Not Want to Be a Jew," 1995) 
is based on a factual "Report on Novaky," which describes the 
Jewish concentration camp in central Slovakia between 1942 
and 1944. After Spitzer's death, a collection of essays and mem- 
oirs appeared entitled Svitd, az ked'je celkom tma ("It Is Getting 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Light, until the Darkness Is Coming," 1996). The main topic 
was the so-called "Jewish question" and the Holocaust. 

bibliography: V. Mikula, Slovnik slovenskych spisovatelu 


[Milos Pojar (2 nd ed.) ] 

SPITZER, KARL HEINRICH (1830-1848), first Jewish vic- 
tim of the March 1848 revolution in Vienna. He was born in 
Bzenec (Bisenz), Moravia, where the family had settled after 
the expulsion of the Jews from Vienna in 1670. From the age 
of 10 he lived in Vienna, where he was educated, and was in- 
fluenced by the French Enlightenment, and the writings of 
Ludwig *Boerne. Dissatisfied with political conditions under 
the Hapsburgs and tending to radicalism, he intended to em- 
igrate to the United States. In the 1848 revolution in Vienna, 
Spitzer was among the first five fighters at the barricades to 
be shot outside the building of the Lower Austrian Estates 
(Landhaus) on March 13. Spitzer was glorified as a martyr of 
the revolution by the Jews of the Hapsburg Empire. His father, 
Leopold, is reported to have said that he praised God because 
his son had helped to free the fatherland and gave new life to 
millions by his death. On the initiative of the Roman Catho- 
lic chaplain of the students organization the Jewish victims, 
Spitzer and Bernard Herschmann, were buried in a common 
grave with Christians who also lost their lives at this time. 
I.N. *Mannheimer eulogized them in a celebrated sermon. 
This unique procedure was not repeated for the Jews shot in 
Vienna in October 1848. 

bibliography: Oesterreichisches Central-Organ... , 1 (1848), 
6-11; Juedisches ArchiVy ino. 6 (1928), 16-18. add. bibliography: 
C. Von Wurzbach, Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oester- 
reich, s.v.; K. Streng, Ausfuehrliche Biographie des am 13. Maerz in 
Wien Gefallenen Freiheitshelden Karl Heinrich Spitzer (1848). 

[Meir Lamed / Albert Lichtblau (2 nd ed.)] 

SPITZER, LEO (1939- ), scholar and author. Born in Bolivia 
to Austrian Jewish parents fleeing Nazi persecution, Spitzer 
moved to the United States with his family in 1950. He was 
educated at Brandeis University, where he received a B.A. in 
Spanish literature (1961), and at the University of Wisconsin, 
where he earned a master's degree in Latin American history 
(1963) and a Ph.D. in African history (1969). He joined the 
faculty of Dartmouth College in 1967 as an instructor, becom- 
ing an assistant professor in 1969 and an associate professor 
in 1974. He became the Kathe Tappe Vernon Professor of His- 
tory at Dartmouth. 

A multilingual scholar who speaks Spanish, German, 
Portuguese, and Krio, and reads French and Xhosa, Spitzer 
published widely on African culture and responses to colo- 
nialism and racism. From 1963 to 1965 he was the recipient of 
a Ford Foundation Foreign Area Training Fellowship for re- 
search in England and Sierra Leone, and in 1972 he received 
a Social Science Research Council fellowship for a compara- 
tive study of the intellectual reactions to Western culture of 
Afro -Brazilian freedmen and the Sierra Leone Creoles. In 1974 

and 1975 he was awarded grants from the comparative world 
history program of the University of Wisconsin. His works 
include The Creoles of Sierra Leone: Responses to Colonialism 
(1974); Lives in Between: Assimilation and Marginality in Aus- 
tria, Brazil, West Africa, ly 80-1945 (1989); and Acts of Memory: 
Cultural Recall in the Present (as editor, with Mieke Bal and 
Jonathan Crewe, 1999). 

Spitzer perhaps received the most attention for his 1998 
work, Hotel Bolivia: The Culture of Memory in a Refuge from Na- 
zism, which was widely and favorably reviewed as a significant 
contribution to Holocaust studies. The work is part memoir, 
part ethnographic study of the Jews who fled to "Hotel Bolivia," 
as they called the country that most regarded as a temporary 
haven. It includes letters, family photographs, and interviews 
with surviving refugees, and the work explores the issues of dis- 
placement, grief, and nostalgia for an obliterated past. 

Spitzer has been the recipient of several honors. He was 
the Lucius Littauer Fellow at the National Humanities Center 
in 1992 and 1993. From 1996 to 1998 he was a National Human- 
ities Center Distinguished Lecturer. His latest work is a col- 
laboration with Marianne Hirsch on a study of Jewish families 
from Czernowitz before, during, and after the Holocaust. 

[Dorothy Bauhoff (2 nd ed.)] 

SPITZER, MOSHE (1900-1982), Israeli publisher and ty- 
pographer. Moshe Spitzer was born in Boskovice, Moravia, 
studied at the University of Vienna, and then earned his Ph.D. 
at the University of Kiel in Indian Studies. In the late 1920s 
he served as Martin Buber s secretary, assisting the philoso- 
pher in his German translation of the Bible, and from 1933 he 
worked for the Schocken Publishing Company in Berlin. In 
!939> Spitzer went to Palestine, where in 1940 he established 
Tarshish Books. Over the years he published over 100 editions 
of Hebrew literature (Samuel Beckett, Nelly Sachs) and the 
classics (Dante, Shakespeare). In 1942 he opened a composing 
(typesetting) shop for his own books and for other publishers. 
As a partner in the Jerusalem Type Foundry (1950-1960), he 
revived neglected Hebrew typefaces and initiated the casting 
on new ones: Romema, Rahat, and Hatzvi. Because of his un- 
ceasing demands on compositors and printers, his innate good 
taste, and his familiarity with European fine printing, he suc- 
ceeded in raising the level of book production in Israel from 
the mediocre to the best possible with the materials then avail- 
able in the country. He commissioned leading Israeli artists to 
illustrate many of his editions. His publications included The 
Birds' Head Haggadah (1965-67), the facsimile of a manuscript 
in the Israel Museum. Spitzer designed books for Schocken, 
established and managed the Jewish Agency's publishing de- 
partment from 1945, and directed publishing at the Bialik In- 
stitute. He wrote articles on the history of the Hebrew letter. 
In 1981 he was elected to the Double Crown Club of England 
for his contribution to fine printing, and he was honorary 
chairman of Yedidei ha-Sefer, the Israel Bibliophiles. His own 
publications were exhibited in the Israel Museum (1970) and 
at the Jewish National and University Library (1981). 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



bibliography: H. Goldberg, "The Work of Dr. Moshe 
Spitzer: Leader in Modern Hebrew Printing and Publishing," Mas- 
ters thesis, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, School of Library and 
Archive Studies (1982); Israel Museum, From the Collection of Dr. 
Moshe Spitzer, Jerusalem, (1982; Cat. No. 172); idem, The Typographical 
Work of Moshe Spitzer (1970; Cat. No. 73); H.J. Katzenstein, Dr. Moshe 
Spitzer: Books, Typography, Design (1980); I. Soifer, "The Pioneer 
Work of Dr. Moshe Spitzer, in: Penrose Annual, 63 (1970), 127-47." 

[Leila Avrin] 

SPITZER, SAMUEL (1839-1896), Hungarian rabbi and 
scholar. Spitzer, who was born in Keszthely, Hungary, stud- 
ied with S.J. *Rapoport in Prague. In 1856 he became rabbi in 
Eszek (now Osijek, Croatia), where he engaged in the study 
of the history of Jewish and general culture. 

His published works include Das Heer und Wehrgesetz 
der alten Israeliten, Griechen und Roemer (1869); DasMahl bet 
den alten Voelkern (1878); Urheimisch in Slavischen Laendern 
(1880); Das Jubilaeum in Woertlicher und Historischer Be- 
leuchtung (1882); and Ueber Sitte und Sitten der alten Voelker 


[Baruch Yaron] 

SPITZER, SOLOMON (Benjamin Solomon Zalman; 1826- 
1893), known as Reb Zalman Spitzer; rabbi and leader of Aus- 
trian Orthodox Jewry. Born in Ofen (Budapest), he studied 
under R. Moses Schick, in St. Jur, R. Meir Ash *Eisenstaedter 
in Ungvar, and R. Abraham Samuel Benjamin *Sofer in Press- 
burg. In 1849 he married the daughter of R. Moses *Sofer (Sch- 
reiber). On the suggestion of Ignaz *Deutsch, in 1853 he was 
appointed rabbi of Vienna's Pressburger Shool y a small com- 
munity of Orthodox Jews mainly from Pressburg and from 
Hungarian provincial communities. Under Spitzer's leader- 
ship the community soon outgrew the small premises they 
occupied and by 1864 a new synagogue, Adass Yisroel, was 
built in Grosse Schiffgasse and known as the Schiff Shool. In 
conjunction with the synagogue he founded the Schiff Shool 
bet ha-midrash. In 1858 he was appointed assistant rabbi to 
Eliezer Horowitz. On the latter s death in 1868 Spitzer was of- 
fered the post of chief rabbi, on condition that he modify his 
strictly traditional standards, but he refused. In 1871 Adolf 
Jellinek, aided by Simon *Szanto, the influential editor of the 
Neuzeity and Ignaz * Kuranda, the new president of the Kul- 
tusgemeinde, wished to introduce some radical reforms into 
the order of the service, including the elimination of all men- 
tion of an ultimate return to Zion and Jerusalem, and the ex- 
clusion from the prayer books of all references to the reinsti- 
tution of sacrifices and to a belief in the Messiah. Although 
the government openly sympathized with the reformers, the 
Orthodox community opposed the proposals. Spitzer called 
a protest meeting attended by some 500 people - approxi- 
mately one quarter of the whole of Vienna's synagogue mem- 
bership. A compromise was found: the reforms were called 
modifications, the organ was not introduced into any Vienna 
synagogue, and the controversial prayers were to be recited 
in silence by the congregation. 

Spitzer resigned from the rabbinate of the Kultusge- 
meinde and devoted his energies entirely to the affairs of the 
Schiff Shool and to its flourishing subsidiary institutions. It 
was his lifelong desire to settle in Jerusalem and in prepara- 
tion he sent his library on ahead with a son-in-law who mi- 
grated there. However, Spitzer's teacher, Moses Schick, pre- 
vailed upon him not to leave Vienna, saying "a conscientious 
general does not leave his soldiers to fight on by themselves." 
He died in Vienna and, in accordance with his last wish, was 
buried in Pressburg. 

A large number of responsa in his teacher's work, the 
"Responsa of Maharam Schick," are addressed to Spitzer, as are 
a number of responsa in the Ketav Sofer by Abraham Samuel 
Benjamin Sofer, the Shevet Sofer of Simhah Bunim Sofer, and 
the Responsa of Akiva *Eger. The only original work pub- 
lished by Spitzer is the Tikkun Shelomo (1892), consisting of 
100 sermons and eight funeral orations, together with Simlat 
Binyamin, talmudic discourses. He also published the speech 
he made at the protest meeting in Vienna (1871). 

bibliography: I. Gastfreund, Wiener Rabbinen (1879), 115-7; 
J.J. Greenwald, Le-Toledot ha-Reformazyon ha-Datit be-Germanya u- 
ve-Ungarya (1948), 14 n. 25; Ha-Maggid, 15 (1871), 50, 58; Der Israelit, 

34 (1893X 1835 f-> 1879 f- 

[Alexander Scheiber] 

SPIVACKE, HAROLD (1904-1977), U.S. music librarian and 

musicologist. Born in New York, Spivacke studied at New York 
University and the University of Berlin, where he received his 
Ph.D. in 1933. He also studied privately with d'Albert and Hugo 
*Leichtentritt. He was assistant chief of the music division of 
the Library of Congress from 1934 to 1937 and chief from 1937 
until his retirement. The music division was greatly devel- 
oped under his administration. Spivacke was also a member 
of various directive and advisory bodies in American and in- 
ternational musicological organizations and president of the 
Music Library Association from 1951 to 1953; he held offices 
in the National Music Council and the American Musico- 
logical Society. He published Paganiniana (1945) and various 

bibliography: Grove Music Online. 

[Amnon Shiloah (2 nd ed.)] 

SPIVAK, ELYE (1890-1950), Yiddish linguist and peda- 
gogue. Born in the Ukraine, Spivak was renowned as a Yid- 
dish teacher before the Revolution. The author of scores of 
Yiddish primers and literary anthologies for schoolchildren, 
he trained Yiddish teachers at several institutes. After Nahum 
Shtif s death in 1933, Spivak was appointed director of the lin- 
guistic section of the Institute for Jewish Proletarian Culture 
at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in Kiev and editor of 
its journal, Afn Shprakhfront. In 1937, after the dissolution 
of the Institute, which had supported more than a hundred 
workers, a small Office for the Study of Yiddish Literature, 
Language, and Folklore was established, with Spivak con- 
tinuing as director. The office was evacuated to the East dur- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


ing World War n and closed in 1949, when Spivak, a member 
of the * Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, was arrested under 
charges of Jewish nationalism. He died in prison in 1950. The 
main administrator of Soviet Yiddish research in the 1930s 
and 1940s, Spivak was the authority on the lexicon and termi- 
nology. His crowning work was Naye Vortshafung ("Creating 
Neologisms," 1939), which demonstrated impressive expertise 
in Yiddish morphology, etymology, and language history and 
structure. The short-lived policy of dehebraization of Yiddish 
suggested by Shtif and I. Zaretski was, from 1931-1939, consis- 
tently opposed by Spivak, who argued for the componential 
integrity of the language. 

bibliography: lnyl, 6 (1965), 509-13; B. Kagan, Leksikon 
fun Yidish Shraybers (1986), 410-11; R. Peltz, in: J. Fishman (ed.), Read- 
ings in the Sociology of Jewish Languages (1985), 125-50; S. Redlich, 
War, Holocaust and Stalinism (1995), 153, 454; E. Rozental-Shnay- 
derman, OyfVegn un Umvegn, 3 (1982), 163-79; J- Rubinstein and V. 
Naumov (eds.), Stalin's Secret Pogrom (2003), 127. 

[Rakhmiel Peltz (2 nd ed.)] 

SPIVAK, NISSAN (known as "Nissi Belzer"; 1824-1906). 
Lithuanian cantor and composer. Spivak sang in the choir of 
Yeruham *Blindman, whose cousin he married, and became 
cantor in Belz, where he acquired his additional name. Later 
he was cantor in Kishinev and, from 1877 until his death, in 
Berdichev He was largely self-taught, and although his voice 
was impaired by an accident in childhood, he became widely 
known because of his talents as a composer and choral con- 
ductor. His vocal limitation actually led him to develop a new 
style of synagogue music. Instead of using the choir merely 
for accompaniment and responses, he assigned to them long 
ensembles with solos and duets and reduced the role of the 
cantor to a minimum. He also took his choir on visits to other 
towns and the courts of hasidic rabbis. Successful as a teacher, 
he attracted many young cantors to study with him at Berdi- 
chev. His own compositions were preserved by his pupils. Two 
of them were published in Idelsohn's Hebraeisch-orientalischer 
Melodienschatz (bibl.). 

bibliography: Prachtenberg, in: Jewish Ministers- Cantors 
Association of America, History of Hazanuth (1924), 163; Idelsohn, 
Melodien, 8 (1932), xxii-xxiii, nos. 250, 251; Friedmann, Lebens- 
bilder, 3 (1927), 129; Sendrey, Music, indexes. 

[Joshua Leib Ne'eman] 

SPIVAKOVSKY, TOSSY (1906/7-1998), Russian- Ameri- 
can violinist. Spivakovsky was born in Odessa. He studied 
with the Italian violinist Arrigo Serato and with Willy Hess 
in Berlin, where he made his concert debut at the age often. 
Spivakovsky became leader of the Berlin Philharmonic Or- 
chestra in 1926. He then toured Europe (1920-33) and Aus- 
tralia (1933-39), where he taught at the Melbourne Conser- 
vatorium (1934-39). 

In 1940 he settled in the United States and made his de- 
but at New York's Town Hall. Playing with the Cleveland Or- 
chestra in 1943, Spivakovsky introduced Bartok's Violin Con- 

certo to the United States. He subsequently appeared with the 
most important American orchestras. In addition to an active 
performing career, Spivakovsky taught violin and chamber 
music at the Juilliard School from 1974 to 1989. His repertory 
ranged from the classics to contemporary works. A brilliant 
virtuoso, he had an exceptionally fast vibrato and advocated 
new bowing techniques which proved controversial. He was 
capable of frequently expressive playing with a highly volatile 
temperament. He published violin transcriptions and "Polyph- 
ony in Bach's Works for Solo Violin," in The Music Review, 28:4 
(Nov. 1967), 277-88. 

add. bibliography: Baker s Biographical Dictionary of Mu- 
sicians (1997); "Tossy Spivakovsky Dies" (obituary), in: The Strad, 109 
(Oct. 1998), 1041; J. Gottlieb, "The Juilliard School Library and Its 
Special Collections," in: Notes, 56 (Sept. 1999), 11-26. 

[Max Loppert / Naama Ramot (2 nd ed.)] 

SPLIT (also Spliet; It. Spalato; in Jewish sources NIU^Dti^K), 
Adriatic port in Croatia. A Jewish community with a cem- 
etery existed in nearby Salona (now Solin) in the third cen- 
tury c.e. When Salona was destroyed by the Avars in 641, the 
Jews seem to have fled to Diocletian's fortified palace which 
later became the town of Split. The register of the Church's 
properties in 1397 mentions a building that served as a syna- 
gogue. The first Jewish tombstones on the Marjan hill date, 
however, from 1573. 

In the 16 th century there were two groups of Sephardi 
Jews in Split; the Ponentine ("western") and the Levantine 
("eastern") Jews. The first group came from Italy or from Spain 
via Italy, Split being a Venetian possession, and the second 
from the Ottoman territories in the Balkans. Both groups later 
merged into one Sephardi congregation whose notable fami- 
lies were Pardo, Macchiero, Misrai (Mizrahi), Penso (Finzi), 
Jesurun (Yeshurun). There were also some Ashkenazi Jews, 
e.g., the Morpurgo family from Maribor. 

The Jews of Split were mainly merchants, physicians, and 
tailors. The Venetian authorities protected them from the In- 
quisition and favored them in the interest of the trade with the 
Ottoman Empire. In 1592 the Jew Daniel Rodriguez succeeded, 
with the authorization of the Senate of Venice, in establishing 
a free port in Split. Jewish merchants from the Ottoman Em- 
pire wanting to settle in Split were exempted from paying the 
residence tax; and immunity of person and capital was guar- 
anteed to Jewish merchants traveling to Venice via Split. The 
free port prospered. Some Jews became wealthy from travel- 
ing to the Ottoman territories in the Balkans and exporting 
the wares brought to Venice; later they had agents in major 
cities. In the 17 th century Joseph Penso, consul of the Jews, be- 
came instrumental in expanding the free port's activities. The 
increasing wealth of Split's Jews brought a prohibition on real 
estate ownership except by special license, to prevent gentiles 
from pledging houses and land to Jews. 

During the Turkish attack in 1657 the Jews were assigned 
the defense of a tower which later became known as the Jew- 
ish position [posto degV Ebrei]. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



In the beginning of the 18 th century there were several 
abortive attempts to exclude Jews from the food trade (1719, 
1748), and from tailoring (1724, 1758). The law of 1738, regu- 
lating Jewish rights and duties in Venetian possessions, was 
applied in Split. It included the wearing of a yellow hat cover 
by Levantine, and of a red one by other Jews; confinement to 
the ghetto between midnight and sunrise; not leaving it at all 
Thursday and Friday of holy week; closing the shops in the 
ghetto on Christian holidays; and an interdiction to employ 

The general decadence of Venice in the late 18 th century 
and the anti-Jewish measures of 1779 caused many Jewish 
families to leave. In 1796 there were 173 Jews left in Split. The 
ghetto was abolished by the Napoleonic regime. When Split 
passed to Austria in 1814, the Jewish laws valid in Austria were 
applied there, and full emancipation was granted only in 1873. 
Many families left for Italy during the 19 th century, and with 
the influx of Jews from Croatia and Bosnia, the community 
became increasingly Croatian-speaking. 

Holocaust Period 

When on April 6, 1941, the Italian Army occupied the town, 
there were 400 Jews living there, some being refugees from 
Austria, Czechoslovakia etc. Although Dalmatia nominally 
belonged to *Pavelic's quisling Croatian state, the Italian army 
prevented his regime from persecuting the Jews, and some 
3,000 refugees from Poland, Austria, and Czechoslovakia had 
passed through Split by 1943. 

In June 1942 a mob devastated the synagogue, commu- 
nity offices, shops, and private houses. Under German pres- 
sure refugees were interned in Italian camps on the Dalmatian 
islands. When Italy capitulated in September 1943, and before 
the Germans entered the town, several hundred Jews crossed 
the Adriatic in small boats to Italy and to partisan-held islands, 
while others joined the partisan forces on the mainland. All 
remaining male Jews were made to register with the German 
authorities, and on October 13 were arrested and sent to the 
Sajmiste camp near ^Belgrade where most of them perished. 
Around 150 Jews from Split died in the Holocaust. 

Contemporary Period 

In 1947 there were 163 Jews in Split, and in 1970 some 120; 
there was no rabbi and very little communal activity. The new 
military hospital inaugurated in 1965 bears the name of Dr. 
Isidore Perera-Molic, the founder of the Yugoslav Army Medi- 
cal Corps. During reconstruction work in the Diocletian Pal- 
ace engravings of menorot were discovered, confirming earlier 
allusions regarding a Jewish presence there in the 2 nd or 3 rd 
centuries. The nearby camp at Pirovac, which was formerly a 
summer resort for Jewish youth from all parts of the country, 
served as an absorption center during the 1992 evacuation of 
the Jews of Bosnia and Herzegovina (mainly from * Sarajevo 
and Mosta). The successful rescue operation was a joint ven- 
ture of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Belgrade, the 
Jewish community of Sarajevo, the Jewish Agency, and the re- 
spective civil and military authorities of the Bosnian Moslems, 

Croats, and Serbs. A number of Jews were evacuated by air to 
^Belgrade; others through Herzegovina to Dalmatia (Split) by 
land across several zones held by the three warring parties. 
About 100 Jews lived in Split in 2004. 

bibliography: G. Novak, Zidovi u Splitu (1920); C. Roth, 
Venice, (1930), 6y, 186, 305-10, 343; Frey, Corpus, 1 (1936), no. 680; 
Jevrejski Almanah (1959/60), 7-14, 29-53; Hananel-ESkenazi, 2 (i960), 
199. holocaust period: Jevrejski Almanah (1957/58), 125-8; Savez 
jevrejskih opstina, Zlodini fasistidkih okupatora... (1952). 

[Daniel Furman / Zvi Loker (2 nd ed.)] 

SPOEHR, ALEXANDER (1913-1992), U.S. anthropolo- 
gist. Born in Tucson, Arizona, Spoehr specialized in Ameri- 
can Indian and Pacific ethnology and archaeology. In 1940 
he worked as assistant curator of American ethnology and 
archaeology at the Field Museum in Chicago. During World 
War 11, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Naval 
Reserve, where he served in air combat intelligence and air- 
sea rescue operations in the western sea frontier and central 
Pacific area, which included the Marshall (Majuro), Gilbert, 
and Caroline islands. When he returned to the Field Mu- 
seum in 1946, he worked for eight years as curator of Oceanic 
ethnology, supervising the reorganization of the museums 
massive collection of artifacts from Oceania. In 1953 he was 
appointed professor of anthropology at Yale University. He 
moved to Hawaii later that year to assume the directorship 
of the Bernice Pauhi Bishop Museum in Honolulu. In 1961 he 
became chancellor of the East- West Center at the University 
of Hawaii. In 1964 he was appointed professor of anthropol- 
ogy at the University of Pittsburgh, where he remained until 
his retirement. He served as chairman of the Pacific Science 
Board of the National Academy of Sciences (1958-61) and 
was president of the American Anthropological Associa- 
tion (1965). In 1972 he was elected to the National Academy 
of Sciences. 

When Spoehr retired from teaching in 1978 he returned 
to Honolulu, where he did a study of the tool-using tech- 
niques of Japanese-American carpenters. He also did re- 
search on the history of the Hudson's Bay Company in 19 th - 
century Hawaii. 

Spoehr wrote several books on his fieldwork, which was 
mainly among the American Indians and the peoples of the 
Pacific islands. He is best remembered for defining the prehis- 
toric ceramic culture known as Lapita, a community of hunter- 
gatherers that lived in Oceania from 1500 B.c.E.to500B.c.E. 
and whose handiwork included elaborately decorated pottery 
and a wide variety of tools made from shells. 

His major works include Camp, Clan and Kin among the 
Cow Creek Seminole of Florida (1941), Majuro, a Village in the 
Marshall Islands (1949), Acculturation and Material Culture 
(with G. Quimby, 1951), Saipan, the Ethnology of a War-Dev- 
astated Island (1954), Zamboanga and Sulu: An Archaeologi- 
cal Approach to Ethnic Diversity (1973), Protein from the Sea 
(1980), and Maritime Adaptations (1980). 

[Ephraim Fischoff / Ruth Beloff (2 nd ed.)] 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


SPOLETO, town in central Italy. A Jewish community pos- 
sibly existed in Spoleto before 1298 when the distinguished 
Roman family De * Pomis settled there after the head of the 
family, Elijah, was condemned to death by the Holy Office. In 
the 15 th century the principal activity of the Jewish commu- 
nity in Spoleto was moneylending. The notable Spoleto Jews 
included the physicians David De' Pomis (1525-88) and Moses 
*Alatino (1529-1605). The Jews were expelled from Spoleto and 
the rest of the Papal States by Pius v in 1569. Some returned 
for a brief period under Sixtus v (1587). There is still in Spo- 
leto the Church of S. Gregorio della Sinagoga. 

bibliography: Roth, Italy, index; Milano, Italia, index; Rava, 

in: Annali di Statistical 9 (1884), 201-8. 

[Ariel Toaff] 

SPORKIN, STANLEY (1932- ), U.S. federal judge. Born 
in Philadelphia, Sporkin received his bachelors degree from 
Pennsylvania State University in 1953 and graduated from Yale 
Law School in 1957. After a clerkship with a presiding justice 
in the U.S. District Court, Sporkin entered private practice 
in i960. In 1961 he began a 20-year career with the Securities 
and Exchange Commission, first as a staff attorney; he became 
chief attorney for the sec Enforcement Bureau in 1963. In 1968 
he became an associate director and from 1973 to 1981 served 
as the director of the sec Division of Enforcement. He taught 
as an adjunct professor at Antioch Law School from 1974 to 
1981 and at Howard University in 1981. 

Sporkin became general counsel for the Central Intelli- 
gence Agency in 1981, serving under Director William Casey 
during the Iran Contra era. In 1985 President Ronald Reagan 
appointed him as a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for 
the District of Columbia. Judge Sporkin ruled in several no- 
table cases, including an early settlement between the Justice 
Department s Antitrust Division and Microsoft Corporation. 
In 1995 he rejected a proposed settlement between the parties 
as too narrow and potentially ineffective in reducing Micro- 
soft's monopolistic practices. His ruling was overturned by a 
panel of three federal appeals judges. Sporkin served on the 
bench until his retirement in 2000, when he joined the firm 
of Weil, Gotshal, and Genges as partner and counseled par- 
ties in corporate governance and litigation matters, acted as 
an arbitrator, and provided mediation services. He contrib- 
uted numerous articles to professional journals. 

In his long career of public service, Sporkin received 
numerous awards and honors. In 1976 he received the Na- 
tional Civil Service League's Special Achievement Award 
and in 1978 the Rockefeller Award for Public Service from 
the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Af- 
fairs at Princeton University. In 1979 he was the recipient of 
the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Ser- 
vice, the highest honor that can be granted to a member of 
the federal service. 

In 1994 Sporkin received the William O. Douglas Award 
for Lifetime Achievement from the Association of Securities 
and Exchange Commission Alumni, and in 1996 he was pre- 

sented the H. Carl Moultrie Award for Judicial Excellence by 

the Trial Lawyers of Washington, d.c. In 2000 he received 

the Federal Bar Association's Tom C. Clark Award. That same 

year he received the Judicial Excellence Award from Judicial 


[Dorothy Bauhoff (2 nd ed.)] 

SPORN, PHILIP (1896-1978), U.S. electrical engineer. Sporn 
was born in Galicia, and taken to the United States in 1907. 
He joined the staff of the American Electric Power Company 
in 1920 and held many positions in this company, including 
chief engineer, executive vice president, and chairman of de- 
velopment. He was also president of the Electric Power Service 
Corporation, the Indiana- Kentucky and Ohio Valley Electric 
Corporations, and the Nuclear Power Group. 

Sporn served in various consultative capacities with nu- 
merous studies and projects on nuclear power production 
under the aegis of the U.S. government, the Atomic Energy 
Commission, the National Research Council, and large com- 
panies. He was vice president of the American Nuclear Soci- 
ety. Sporn was chairman of the Seawater Conversion Com- 
mission of the government of Israel. As well as papers on the 
generation and distribution of electric power, he wrote (with 
Ambrose and Baumeister) Heat Pumps (1947) and Integrated 
Power System as the Basic Mechanism for Power Supply (1950). 

He received many awards. 

[Samuel Aaron Miller] 

SPORTS. There is no evidence of sports among the Jews dur- 
ing the obscure period between the close of the Bible and the 
Maccabean periods. At the beginning of this latter period, in 
the second century b.c.e., circumstances conspired to make 
sporting activities as such, i.e., sport not as associated with the 
need for physical exercise or as an aspect of military training 
but competitive sport "for the sake of the game," repugnant 
to the Jews as the very antithesis of Jewish ideals, and this ap- 
proach remained characteristic of Judaism until the dawn of 
the modern period. 

A number of circumstances contributed to the negative 
and antipathetic attitude toward sport. The first was that, with 
the conquest of Alexander the Great in the fourth century 
b.c.e., hellenistic culture began to infiltrate into Erez Israel, 
and the attempt of Antiochus *Epiphanes to forcibly hellenize 
Judea led to the outbreak of the Maccabean War. One of the 
overt signs of this process was the establishment of a gym- 
nasium in Jerusalem by * Jason in 174 b.c.e., where the par- 
ticipants engaged in their sporting activities in the nude. The 
antithesis between the gymnasium as an expression of * Hel- 
lenism and Judaism was dramatically and almost symbolically 
highlighted by the fact that some of the Jewish participants, 
according to the Book of 1 Maccabees (1:15), actually under- 
went operations for the purpose of concealing the fact that 
they were circumcised. Sport thus became associated with the 
alien and dangerous hellenistic culture. An additional factor 
was that the Olympic games were connected with an idola- 
trous cult, particularly of the Greek deity of Hercules, and it 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



is significant that during the period of hellenization, when a 
Jewish contingent went to the games held at Tyre concurrently 
with the 152 nd Olympic games in Greece, they refused to bring 
the customary gifts, which were dedicated to Hercules, unless 
they were devoted to a non-idolatrous cause. 

Nevertheless, there is some evidence that in countries un- 
der Greek influence, sports were indulged in by Jews. Claudius 
warned the Jews of Alexandria that they "should not strive 
in gymnasiarchic and cosmetic games" (Philo, Legatio ad 
Gaium), and one interpretation of a second- or third-century 
inscription in Hypaepa, Asia Minor, has it refer to a sports as- 
sociation of young Jews. 

This opposition to sport became even more intensified 
when, following the intervening period of independence, 
Roman overlordship was substituted for Greek, and theaters 
and ^circuses were linked together as the very antithesis of 
"synagogue and school." To the considerations which applied 
to the gymnasia were the added factors of cruelty associated 
with Roman sport, which was not confined to the character- 
istic aspect of gladiatorial contests, and also the fact that at 
the theaters the Jews were made the butt of satire, parody, and 
mockery (cf. Lam. R. intro. 17). The first sentence of the Book 
of Psalms, "Happy is the man. . . who sat not in the seat of the 
scorners" was made to apply to those who refrained from at- 
tending "theaters and circuses and did not attend gladiatorial 
combats" (Pes. 148b), and the humane aspect of the opposi- 
tion finds expression in the ruling that "one is permitted to 
go to stadiums if by his shouting he may save the victim" (Av 
Zar. 18b). At one period of his life the famous amor a Simeon 
b. Lakish (Resh Lakish) was a professional gladiator (Git. 47a), 
but he justified this on the grounds of grim necessity. The very 
vehemence of the denunciation of the rabbis would seem to 
point to the fact that participation in, or at least attendance 
at, those sports by Jews was widespread. 

The first Jewish ruler to encourage sports was Herod. 
Between 37 and 4 B.C. e. he erected sports stadia in Caesarea, 
Sebaste, Tiberias, Jericho, and other cities, and also intro- 
duced a Palestinian Olympiad with sports competition every 
five years. He brought athletes from all parts of the world to 
compete in gladiatorial games and contests of boxing, racing, 
archery, and other sports, and also contributed large sums to 
the Olympic games in Greece. His extensive activities in this 
sphere were, however, part of his program of the "romaniza- 
tion" of the realm. 

Middle Ages 

There are a few references to organized sport during the Mid- 
dle Ages. According to Shevet Yehudah (ch. 8), Jews in Spain 
distinguished themselves in the art of fencing. An examination 
of all the data given in I. Abrahams' Jewish Life in the Middle 
Ages (1932 2 , repr. i960, 397-411) reveals that, almost without 
exception, the instances which purport to prove that the Jews 
indulged in sport belong either to recreations like strolling, 
self-defense, dancing, and intellectual pastimes, such as chess 
and riddles, or to children's games. There is a reference by 

Jerome in the fourth century to Jewish boys in Syria lifting 
heavy stones "to train their muscular strength" (to Zech. 12:4) 
and in the 13 th century it was the custom to hold tournaments 
and jousts as part of marriage celebrations. Isaac Or Zaru'a 
refers to "young men who go out on horseback to greet the 
bridegroom, and indulge in combats with one another, and 
tear one another's garments or cause injury to the horse" (Hil. 
Sukkot ve-Lulav no. 315). He ruled that the injured party had 
no claim for damages since he had been partaking in a joyous 
occasion. In Provence the Jews trained falcons and engaged in 
hawking on horseback. On the other hand, in the 15 th century 
Israel * Bruna, in answer to a question whether it was permit- 
ted to even attend non- Jewish horse- racing competitions, gave 
guarded permission only because one could thereby judge the 
quality of the horses and learn to ride "in order to escape from 
one's enemies." "Nevertheless," he added, "I doubt whether it 
is permitted to go and see such races as are intended merely 
as jousting tournaments for pleasure" (Resp. 71). 

The most popular sports in the Middle Ages appear to 
have been ball games. Although the Midrash (Lam. R. 2:4) 
gives as one of the reasons for the destruction of the Temple 
that "in Tur Malka they played ball games on the Sabbath." 
Moses Isserles, disagreeing with Joseph Caro, permitted ball 
playing on the Sabbath and festivals and stated that in his time 
(16 th century) it was customary to do so (Sh. Ar., oh 308:45), 
and on festivals (when there is no prohibition against carry- 
ing) it is permitted "even in a public domain and even for pure 
sport" (ibid. 518:2). He based himself upon Tosafot (to Bezah 
12a), which states explicitly that "we find that they play with 
the ball called pelota" (cf. the modern Basque game called by 
the same name). No details are given; according to one au- 
thority, however, "it was very like handball but, instead of be- 
ing struck by the hand, the ball was caught in a long narrow 
scoop-like basket attached firmly to the wrist and thrown 
against the wall" (jqr, 26 (1935/36), 4). 

In 1386 there were Jewish tourneys in Wiesenfeld, Ger- 
many. In the 15 th century, competitions were held in Augsburg, 
Germany, in running, jumping, throwing, and bowling, in 
which Jews also participated. * Immanuel of Rome mentions 
"boys who trained in stone throwing" (in his Mahbarot 22, no. 
42). In this same century, at the popular festivals initiated in 
Rome, sports competitions were also included: Monday was 
for youth, Tuesday for Jews (under 20 years of age), Wednes- 
day for older boys, and so on. The Jews were obliged to provide 
precious carpets as prizes. It is known that Jews distinguished 
themselves in these games in 1487, 1502, and 1595. There is even 
a song about Jewish runners, composed in 1513. These games 
and festivals continued for some 200 years despite the fact that 
during these years the mob interfered with the Jewish runners, 
who participated half naked. In 1443 there was a registration 
of a Jew who knew "wrestling without shedding blood." 

In the 16 th century there was a famous Austrian con- 
verted Jew by the name of Ott who was outstanding at the 
Augsburg games and was even invited to the court of the Aus- 
trian prince in order to train the courtiers. He wrote a book in 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


which wrestling was separated from fencing for the first time 
and was known as "Ottish Wrestling." There was also a book 
on fencing published by Andres Jud, who, together with his 
brother Jacob Lignitzer, took special care of fencing. The de- 
crees of Rudolph ii show how important fencing was for the 
Jews in Germany. Among these decrees was one which forbade 
Christian fencing teachers to train Jews and, later on, also for- 
bade competitions between Jews and Christians. There is little 
information about sport in the 17 th and 18 th centuries. 

Despite the examples given, there is no doubt that S.W. 
Baron is correct in stating that during the Middle Ages spo- 
radic voices in favor of recreational pauses were as ineffective 
as those which advocated physical exercises. Northern Jewry 
especially had little use for physical education and paid little 
heed even to the injunction of a talmudic sage that a father 
give his son instruction in swimming as a "life-saving pre- 
caution." It is only in the modern period that sports became 
popular and widespread among Jews. 

Modern Era 

Though most Jews in the 19 th century lived in conditions un- 
favorable to athletic pursuits, a number of them in England, 
Germany, Hungary, Canada, France, Austria, and the United 
States did well in a variety of sports. In 1896, six Jewish ath- 
letes won 13 medals at the first modern Olympic games in 

In a speech before the Second Zionist Congress in 1898, 
Max *Nordau asked the Jewish people to renew their inter- 
est in sports and physical fitness. Nordau s call for "muscular 
Judaism" was answered by the *Maccabi movement, which 
spread first to the countries of Europe and Palestine and then 
around the world. Over 100 Maccabi clubs were in existence 
in Europe by the beginning of World War 1. The largest of 
these clubs - Ha-Koah of Vienna, Bar Kochba of Berlin, and 
Ha-Gibor of Prague - became famous for their outstanding 
teams. It was Hungary, however, that produced the most suc- 
cessful Jewish athletes in Europe. Hungarian Jews won nu- 
merous Olympic medals in various sports. 

Early in the 20 th century immigrant Jewish children in 
Great Britain and the United States learned to play the games 
of their new countries in youth clubs, settlement houses, and 
ym-ywhas. Living in crowded urban areas, they became pro- 
ficient in sports which required little space and equipment, 
such as boxing, handball, table tennis, basketball, gymnas- 
tics, and wrestling. Professional sports, particularly boxing 
and basketball, attracted many Jews, who used athletic schol- 
arships to gain admission to some U.S. colleges. 

The sports picture changed radically for Jews following 
World War 11. In the affluent communities of North and South 
America and in Western Europe, the emphasis shifted to social 
sports, such as tennis, golf, polo, yachting, and squash. Most 
Jews attending colleges in the United States could afford to 
pay tuition fees and participate in university sports for recre- 
ation. When Jews were excluded from established yacht and 
country clubs they organized their own. 

Jews were active in formulating sports programs in the 

Soviet Union during the 1920s, and after World War 11 they 

contributed to that nation's successful entry into international 

competition. Many Soviet Jews have been accorded the title 

"Honored Master of Sport." 

[Jesse Harold Silver] 

In Israel before 1948 

Physical education was first introduced into Jewish schools in 
Erez Israel toward the end of the 19 th century by Yeshayahu 
* Press and Heinrich Eliakum *Loewe. The first Jewish sports 
clubs in the country, the Rishon le-Zion Club in Jaffa and the 
Bar Giora Club in Jerusalem, were established in 1906 by Leo 
Cohen and Aviezer *Yellin, respectively, and shortly afterward 
the first qualified club leaders were appointed. In 1908, the first 
national sports competition - the Rehovot Festival - was or- 
ganized under the leadership of Zevi Nishri (d. 1973) and was 
held annually until the outbreak of World War 1. Sports out- 
side the framework of the schools were organized by volun- 
tary organizations associated in varying degrees with social 
or political movements. 

maccabi. Maccabi started as an apolitical sports organiza- 
tion, but was favored by the General Zionists. The first Mac- 
cabi club was established in Jerusalem in 1911 and soon had 
300 members. A second club was formed in Petah Tikvah, 
and the two clubs, together with the Rishon le-Zion Club in 
Jaffa, formed the countrywide Maccabi Organization in 1912. 
Maccabi did not confine its activities to sports. It was active 
in cultural affairs and fought for the recognition and dissem- 
ination of the Hebrew language, the employment of Jewish 
labor, and Jewish self-defense. On the eve of World War 1, it 
had about 1,000 members in 15 clubs. With the participation 
of Maccabi and the *Ha-Shomer movement in the Rehovot 
Festival in 1913, a genuine national Jewish sports movement 
seemed to have emerged. 

Even before the outbreak of World War 1, however, 
the first signs of the dissolution of this movement were 
visible. Maccabi boycotted the Rehovot Festival of 1914 be- 
cause Arab guards and Arab workers were employed in the 
village. On the other hand, the Jewish workers alleged that 
the Maccabi clubs had fallen under the control of the land- 
owners and employers. It therefore came as no surprise 
when the Rehovot Festival was not revived after the war and 
Maccabi organized its own festival, the first Maccabi games, 
in 1920. 

development of physical education. Physical educa- 
tion in Palestine was given a new lease by the arrival of sev- 
eral experienced Jewish athletes as part of the wave of Jewish 
immigration that followed the end of World War 1. The new- 
comers included David Almagor, gymnast and wrestler from 
Cairo, Yehoshua Alouf, one of the best gymnasts in Maccabi- 
Warsaw, and Dr. Emanuel Simon, one of the best track and 
field men in the Bar- Kochba Club in Berlin, who all contrib- 
uted to the expansion and improvement of physical education 
in the schools and the Maccabi clubs. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



establishment of ha-poel. The workers, for their part, 
began to organize their sports clubs in 1924, and in 1926 they 
founded a countrywide workers' sports organization under 
the name of c *Ha-Poel as an affiliate of the *Histadrut. A year 
later Ha- Poel joined the International Workers' Sports Federa- 
tion. Initially, the main objective of Ha- Poel was to cater to the 
masses, rather than to breed champion athletes. In 1935 there 
were 10,000 participants in its fourth festival. These festivals 
are still held once every five years. Maccabi, by contrast, laid 
greater emphasis on competitive sports and devoted its ener- 
gies to organizing them on a national basis, as well as intro- 
ducing Palestine to the international sports arena. 

soccer introduced. The establishment of the British Man- 
datory regime in Palestine after World War 1 had a marked 
effect on local sports. Whereas prior to the war, gymnastics 
had been the dominant sport, under Eastern and Central 
European influence, it was now supplanted by soccer due 
to the influence of the British army teams which competed 
with the Maccabi teams. In 1925 the Organization of Jew- 
ish Soccer Clubs was founded. In 1928 the Palestine Football 
Association - the first national sports federation - was es- 
tablished. It comprised British, Jewish, and Arab teams and 
was the only body in which Maccabi and Ha- Poel cooperated 
until after the establishment of the State of Israel. Through 
the association, Palestine - and later Israel - has been rep- 
resented in the World Cup Championships regularly since 

THE maccabiah: entry into international sports. 
Maccabi initiated the establishment of the Palestine Amateur 
Sports Federation in 1931 in order to take part in international 
competitions, and was accepted by most federations. Two 
years later, the Palestine Olympic Committee was set up. Mac- 
cabi's greatest achievement prior to World War 11 was the or- 
ganization of the international *Maccabiah Games in 1932, in 
which 500 Jewish athletes from 23 countries participated and 
1,500 in a gymnastic display. At the second Maccabiah, in 1935, 
there were 1,700 participants from 27 countries. As many of 
the athletes, accompanying personnel, and tourists remained 
in the country after the contest was over, the Maccabiah be- 
came not only a means of stimulating sports, but also an im- 
portant lever for the promotion of ally ah. The Second Mac- 
cabiah was even more of an "Aliyah Maccabiah," since most 
of the participants and their escorts remained in Palestine, in 
view of the wave of antisemitism sweeping Europe after the 
Nazi accession to power in Germany. Y. Alouf was the chief 
organizer of the first five Maccabiah Games. 

Maccabi was also the first body to send a delegation to 
an official event in Asia (the West Asian Games in New Delhi 
in 1934) and to an international event for women (the London 
Games in 1934). In the same period, Ha- Poel athletes twice 
represented Palestine in Workers' Olympics, in Vienna (1931) 
and Antwerp (1937). An invitation to participate in the Ber- 
lin Olympics in 1936 under the Nazi regime was rejected for 
obvious reasons and, as a result, the appearance of Palestin- 

ian or Israel athletes in the Olympics was delayed for 16 years. 
(The Games were not held in 1940 and 1944. In 1948 the Pales- 
tine Olympic Committee no longer existed, the Israel Olym- 
pic Committee had not yet been recognized, and Israel was 
fighting for survival.) 

Between 1924 and 1939 young Jews from Palestine studied 
physical education in Denmark, and the number of qualified 
physical education teachers in the schools increased. In 1938, 
Yehoshua Alouf was appointed the first supervisor of physi- 
cal education. One of his achievements was the organization 
of the first countrywide inter-school competitions. In 1939 
the Va'ad Le'ummi set up a department of physical education, 
which was to become the government body responsible for 
sports on the establishment of the State of Israel (since 1961 it 
has been known as the Sports Authority). The department, as 
it was then, introduced a course for physical education teach- 
ers that was later expanded into a permanent college for physi- 
cal education teachers. The department also published books 
on physical education. 

In the State of Israel 

physical education. With the establishment of the State 
of Israel, the number of schools increased enormously, and 
sports facilities improved. Physical education is taught twice 
weekly in schools throughout Israel. Some 70,000 pupils par- 
ticipate in annual sports competitions, which include track 
and field, basketball, volleyball, handball, swimming, and soc- 
cer. About 70,000 pupils participate annually in the "Sports 
Badge" trials, and outstanding pupils are invited for advanced 
training lasting from three to twelve days. 

In addition to supervising sports and physical education 
in the schools, the authority encourages sports throughout the 
country and gives financial assistance to the Wingate Institute 
for Physical Education, which comprises a three -year college 
for physical education teachers run by the Ministry of Educa- 
tion and Culture, a three-year school for physiotherapists, a 
one-year course for coaches, and a school for physical train- 
ing instructors of the Israel Defense Forces. 

The Sports Authority lays special emphasis on popular 
sports, such as marching, running, swimming, etc. It provides 
financial assistance for the provision of sports facilities and 
the publication of sports literature. In addition to the one at 
the Wingate Institute, there are three other colleges of physi- 
cal education in the country: one in Tel Aviv, at a seminar run 
by the kibbutz movements; one in Beersheba; and a third, a 
religious college, at Givat Washington. 

organization of sport in Israel. World War 11 took a 
heavy toll of Jewish athletes, and it was only with great reserva- 
tions that the Third Maccabiah was organized in 1950. On this 
occasion, Israel's team for the first time included athletes from 
Maccabi and Ha- Poel, and this made a major contribution to 
the unification of Israeli sports one year later. The Maccabiah 
was held again in 1953 and then 1957 and was a quadrennial 
event thereafter. In 1951, Maccabi and Ha-Poel agreed to coop- 
erate on the Israel Olympic Committee and the Israel Sports 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Federation. The two associations were already represented on 
the Israel Football Association. 

In 1970, over 40,000 athletes participated in organized 
competitive athletics in Israel. Fifteen thousand came under 
the jurisdiction of the Israel Sports Federation, which con- 
trols 14 sports; 13,000 belonged to the Israel Football Associa- 
tion; 9,000 to the Israel Basketball Association; and the rest to 
smaller associations controlling tennis, judo, and other sports. 
All sports are amateur, and a much greater number of people 
are active in noncompetitive sports. The major sports orga- 
nizations are: Ha-Poel, with 300 branches and 85,000 mem- 
bers; Maccabi, with 75 branches and 18,000 members; Elit- 
zur (founded 1939) for religious youth, with 80 branches and 
10,000 members; Betar (founded in 1924), affiliated to Herat, 
with 74 branches and 5,000 members; Academic Sports As- 
sociation (1953) with nine branches in the institutes of higher 
education and 5,000 members. 

in international sports. Israel participated in the Olym- 
pic Games for the first time in Helsinki in 1952 and thereafter 
at all subsequent games. Since 1954 it has also competed at the 
Asian Games (with the exception of the Jakarta Games in 1962, 
which were canceled due to a boycott of Israel by Indonesia). 
Israel has made endeavors to integrate into Asian sport, except 
in basketball and volleyball, where it belongs to the zone cov- 
ering Europe and the Mediterranean countries. The efforts of 
Arab countries to boycott Israel have generally been frustrated 
by international sports bodies. Israel's achievements in inter- 
national sports have been modest. The Israel national soccer 
team reached the World Cup Championships in Mexico in 
1970, after defeating Australia in the eliminating round, and 
acquitted itself creditably. The small Israel team at the 1970 
Asian games at Bangkok won six gold medals, six silver, and 
five bronze, finishing in sixth place. Israel tennis players have 
competed at Wimbledon and in Davis Cup matches, and since 
1962 a youth team has competed at Miami Beach. Gliding has 
been practiced in Israel for over 30 years, and free-fall para- 
chuting has recently been introduced. Israel won the Asian 
Football Championships once, the Asian Youth Champion- 
ships four times, and the Asian Champions' Cup twice. Up to 
June 1969, Israel's basketball team had won 62 out of 126 offi- 
cial international games. 

In recent years, dinghy sailing has become popular, and 
in 1969 Zefania Carmel and Lydia Lazarov won the world 
championships in the 420 class in Sweden. In the following 
year the championships were held in Israel off Tel Aviv. 

noncompetitive sports. The most popular noncompeti- 
tive sports event in Israel are the annual Three -Day March to 
Jerusalem, organized by the Israel Defense Forces, the swim 
across Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee, started by Ha-Poel), 
and the cross-country race around Mount Tabor. The Three- 
Day (originally Four-Day) March is in a category of its own. 
It is not the same as hiking, which may be motivated by the 
wish to "get away from it all"; nor is it comparable with the 
walking race, for it is not a race at all. It has been most aptly 

described as Israel's folk "happening," although the idea was 
taken from a similar Dutch event. Thousands of people of all 
ages - organized in clubs or in family groups, coming from of- 
fices, factories, banks, or hospitals, and some individuals - go 
out tramping over the hills around Jerusalem together with 
contingents of soldiers in training. Visitors from overseas also 
participate. The army builds camps and lays on entertainment 
facilities for the participants, and the event culminates in a 
march through the streets of Jerusalem. One -day marches are 
also held in other parts of the country organized by Maccabi 
and Ha-Poel, and an Israel Defense Forces contingent partic- 
ipates every year at the annual Four- Day March in Holland. 
Ha-Poel has organized sports activities in factories and offices. 
Cross-country running also has a special Israel character: the 
route, and sometimes the date of the event, is usually related 
to some event in the Bible or Jewish history. On *Hanukkah, 
for instance, relays of runners from Maccabi carry torches 
from Modi'in, birthplace of the Maccabees, to the presidential 
residence in Jerusalem, as well as to various other parts of the 
country. There is also the annual run around Mount Tabor. 
The annual swim across Lake Kinneret, from Ein Gev to Ti- 
berias; the Haifa Bay swim; and the "crossing of the Red Sea" 
at Eilat, are mass events with a competitive element. As in the 
annual marches, all participants who complete the course are 
awarded certificates and, for some events, medallions. 

[Yehoshua Alouf and Uriel Simri] 

1968-2005. The third decade of the existence of the State of 
Israel was marked by a significant improvement of its repre- 
sentative sports and by the intervention of politics into the 
activities of Israel sports on the international scene. At the be- 
ginning of the decade the improvement was modest. Thus at 
the Olympic Games of Mexico (1968), Israel had only a fifth 
place in soccer to show. Two years later, however, the soccer 
team of Israel was to return to Mexico as one of the 16 teams 
participating in the World Cup (for professionals and ama- 

The year 1969 saw Israeli athletes gain their first world 
championship, when Zefanya Carmel and Lydia Lazarov be- 
came world champions in sailing in the (non- Olympic) 420 
class. Since then Israel has gained six more world champion- 
ships in this event, the recipients being Joel Sela, Yoram Kedar, 
Mordechai Amberam, Eitan Friedlander, Shimshon Brock- 
man, and Amnon Samgura. 

In 1970 Israel was represented by 27 athletes in the Asian 
Games at Bangkok, and they returned with 6 gold, 6 silver and 
5 bronze medals. Four years later the Israeli delegation (61 ath- 
letes) was to return with 7 gold, 4 silver and 8 bronze med- 
als from the Asian Games in Teheran. The appearance at the 
games in Teheran may have been Israel's last major appearance 
on the scene of Asian sports which, under Arab influence, has 
increasingly brought politics into the sphere of sports, with the 
result that Israel was excluded from the Asian Games of 1978, 
under the pretext of "security reasons" and it was prevented 
from participating in many other Asian events. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Arab terrorism played havoc on Israeli sports, and 11 
Israeli coaches and athletes paid with their lives during an 
Arab attack on the Olympic Village at Munich on September 
5, 1972. This attack, however, did not prevent Israel from ap- 
pearing on the international sport scene. In fact, it returned 
with a bigger and stronger delegation to the Olympic Games 
in Montreal (1976), gaining a fifth (Edouard Weitz in weight- 
lifting), a sixth (Esther Rot in hurdling), a seventh (Rami 
Meron in wrestling), and a twelfth place (Micha Kaufmann 
in shooting) in individual events, while the national soccer 
team reached the last eight in the Olympic tournament. Es- 
ther Rot can definitely be considered Israel's top athlete of this 
decade, having been elected five times (1970, 1971, 1974, 1975, 
1976) athlete of the year in Israel. 

Tennis has come to the fore as a popular sport, with 14 
centers having opened in various parts of Israel. The most 
outstanding Israeli tennis player is Shlomo Glickstein (b. 
1958), who first entered the national Israeli youth champion- 
ship competition at the age of 10 and won the title for his age 
group. He went on to compete in international events, and by 
the end of 1981 was seeded 30 in the rankings of the Associa- 
tion of Tennis Professionals. 

Basketball continued to be Israel's best representative 
sport during this period. Major achievements were: Asian 
Games championships (1970, 1974), the European Cup for 
nations (1976) and the victory of Maccabi Tel Aviv in the 
European Cup for champions in 1977 and 1981. Furthermore, 
basketball became the first sport in which an Israel national 
team defeated a national team of the U.S.S.R. when Israel won 
its game in the European junior championship in 1972. Israel 
also placed sixth in the Intercontinental Cup of 1977 and fifth 
in the European championship of that year. A striking vic- 
tory in this sphere of sport was the defeat of the Washington 
Bullets, the champions of the U.S. National Basketball Asso- 
ciation by Maccabi Tel Aviv in September 1978 by the narrow 
margin of 98-97. The major sport events in Israel during this 
period were again the Maccabiah Games (the eighth in 1969, 
the ninth in 1973, the tenth in 1977, the eleventh in 1981), and 
the International Hapoel Games (the ninth in 1971 and the 
tenth in 1975). Other major events held in Israel include: The 
Olympic Games for the Disabled (1968); the International 
Spring Cup in volleyball (1970, 1976); the world champion- 
ship in sailing in the 420 class (1970); the Eight Nations' Cup 
in swimming (1971, 1978); and the European junior champi- 
onship in judo (1974). 

At the end of the 1970s Israel was attempting to enter 
the European sport scene, as a result of its rejection by Asian 
sport organizations. Up to date Israel has been accepted into 
the European region of seven sports and is continuing its ef- 
forts to be accepted in more European federations. 

In January 1979, the praesidium of the Israel Olympic 
committee issued a statement breaking off all sporting rela- 
tions with South Africa, apparently in order to remove any ob- 
jection to Israel's participation in the Olympic Games sched- 
uled to be held in Moscow the following year. At a plenary 

meeting of the 10 c held a few days later, however, it rejected 

the statement. Ultimately Israel did not participate in the 1980 

Moscow Olympics. 

[Uriel Simri] 

The following years were noted in Israel's sports for two 
major breakthroughs - one in the political domain, the other 
in the athletic arena. 

The political breakthrough began in 1989, when the So- 
viet Union, under President Gorbachev, relented in its op- 
position to the acceptance of Israel into the European zone 
of the various international sport federations. Thus Israel, 
which had been without a continental affiliation since its ex- 
pulsion from Asian sports in the mid-1970s, was able to enter 
the European federations and their regular activities. By 1992 
this procedure had been completed for all practical purposes, 
the European Soccer Federation (uefa) being one of the last 
federations that had not granted Israel full membership sta- 
tus. At the same time, from 1987 uefa invited Israel's youth 
teams to participate in its championships and in 1992 invited 
the national champion as well as the cup-holder to participate 
in the annual competitions organized by it. 

The major breakthrough in athletics occurred during the 
Olympic Games in Barcelona in the summer of 1992, when 
two Judokas succeeded in bringing to Israel for the first time 
Olympic medals - Yael Arad returning with the silver medal in 
women's 61 kg. class and Oren Smadja with the bronze medal 
in the men's 71 kg. class. 

Israel had, in fact, been very close to gaining its first 
Olympic medals already at Seoul in 1988. However, Joel Sela 
and Eldad Amir had to be satisfied with a fourth place in the 
Flying Dutchman class of the Olympic yachting competitions, 
after forfeiting one race because it was held on Yom Kippur. 
The same couple was placed eighth in the 1984 Olympics at 
Los Angeles. Similar placings, which were the best during 
those Olympics, were achieved by the yachtsmen Shimshon 
Brockman and Eitan Friedlander in the 470 class, as well as 
by the marksman Yitzchak Yonassi. 

In Israel's representation at the Barcelona Olympics, 
11 out of the 31 representatives were newcomers to the State 
of Israel, primarily from the former Soviet Union. The top 
achievements of those newcomers were the sixth place of 
weightlifter Andre Danisov in the 100 kg. class and the eighth 
place of Yevgeni Krasnov in the pole vault. 

The significant improvement of the standard of the top 
athletes can further be seen from a list of achievements in re- 
cent years in other sports. In July 1992 Johar Abu-Lashin, a 
Christian Arab from Nazareth, became the first Israeli pro- 
fessional athlete to gain a world champion's title, when he be- 
came lightweight champion of the World Boxing Federation. 
The same year windsurfer Amit Inbar was placed second in 
the world championship (and a disappointing eighth in the 
Olympics), after having ranked first in the previous year. An- 
other newcomer from the Soviet Union, the wrestler Max 
Geller, succeeded in winning the silver medal at the European 
championships in freestyle wrestling in 1991. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


On the other hand basketball, which had been the out- 
standing sport in Israel for its quality for a long time, had its 
ups and downs. Whereas the men's national team was placed 
second in the European championship in 1979, sixth in 1981, 
and fifth in 1983, it receded to ninth place in 1985, to eleventh 
in 1987, and thereafter did not qualify for the final stages of 
the championship (until 1993). However, in 1986 the team 
succeeded for the second time in history (after 1954) to qual- 
ify for the final stages of the world championship, where it 
came seventh. 

The Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team also did not suc- 
ceed in repeating its earlier successes (wins in 1977 and 1981) 
in the European Champions' Cup games. Although the team 
reached the finals three years in a row (1987-1989), it was 
beaten at that stage by teams from Italy and Yugoslavia. The 
women's national team in basketball succeeded in 1990 to 
reach the "final eight" in the continental championship, but 
this turned out to be a one-time achievement. 

Israel's tennis managed to be in the limelight from 1986 
until 1989, when the men's team held its place among the top 
16 nations in the world within the framework of the Davis Cup 
games. As of 1990 attempts to return to the top have not been 
successful. The above achievement was mainly due to Israel's 
no. 1 player, Amos Mansdorf, who at the peak of his career (in 
1987) ranked no. 18 in the world. In the following years Mans- 
dorf had a ranking around no. 30. 

While soccer remained Israel's most popular sport, the 
Football Association had very little to show as far as achieve- 
ments on the international scene were concerned. In 1989, 
Israel came closest to repeating its appearance in the final 
stages of the World Cup (the first and only time was in 1970), 
but drew with Colombia in Ramat Gan, after losing by a single 
goal in the away game. Israel reached this stage after winning 
the zone of Oceania, to which it was removed by fi fa as a re- 
sult of the Asian boycott and uefa's refusal, up to that time, 
to let Israel participate in the European zone. 

In 1988 the Knesset passed the "Sports Law," after tabling 
it for 13 years. Its major provisions called for mandatory cer- 
tification of coaches and instructors; mandatory health and 
loss of income insurance of athletes participating in com- 
petitive sports; mandatory periodical medical examinations 
for participants in competitive sports; and prohibition of the 
use of any doping materials. The Minister of Education and 
Culture was given a number of regulatory powers within the 
framework of the law. 

The Knesset also approved, early in 1991, the appointment 
of a deputy minister in the Ministry of Education and Culture 
to be in charge of sports. When the Labor Party returned to 
power in 1992, it too appointed a deputy minister. 

The quadrennial Maccabiah and the Hapoel Games con- 
tinued to be the major sports events in the country. While the 
participation in the Maccabiah Games expanded - in 1989 
athletes from the former Communist bloc participated for the 
first time - the athletic standard of the Games left much to be 
desired. The Hapoel Games, on the other hand, developed in 

scope and in standard up to 1987, but were greatly reduced in 
1991 as a result of a serious financial deficit. 

Israeli team sports in the 1990s and early 2000s were 
dominated by the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team, which 
continued to sweep local league play and won three European 
championships under Coach Pini *Gershon (2001, 2003, 2004) 
after a long drought in international competition. Local bas- 
ketball also developed a number of superstars, most playing 
for Maccabi but some also for European teams. Among them 
were Doron Jamche, Doron Shefer, Gur Shelef, Tal Burst- 
ein, and Oded Katash, who led Greece's Panathinaikos to a 
championship win over Maccabi, his former team, in 2000. 
In women's basketball, Elitzur Holon built a parallel dynasty, 
taking 18 Israeli cups and 20 Israeli league championships be- 
tween 1977 and 1996. Israeli Shay Doron was an All- American 
guard at Maryland and led the Terrapins to an nc a a Cham- 
pionship in 2006. 

Women's tennis also made great strides, with two stand- 
outs on the wta tour. Anna Smashnova finished the 2002 and 
2003 seasons with a No. 16 world ranking and through 2005 
had taken 11 titles (in 11 finals), chalking up over $2 million 
in winnings. Nineteen-year-old Shahar Peer climbed to No. 
23 in June 2006. In 2002 Alex Averbach took the gold medal 
in the pole vault at the European championships, a first for 
an Israeli athlete, and in 2004 Gal Fridman won Israel's first 
Olympic gold medal, taking it in windsurfing. 

[Uriel Simri / Elli Wohlgelernter (2 nd ed.)] 

Association Football (Soccer) 

Shortly after 1900, the Bohr brothers, Neils Henrik David 
(1885-1962) and Harald August (1887-1951), of Denmark, be- 
came famous soccer players in Scandinavia. In 1908 Harald won 
a silver medal in the first Olympic soccer competition. Other 
* Olympic medalists included Sandor Geller (Hungary) in 1952 
(gold); Boris Razinsky (1933- ) (U.S.S.R.) in 1956 (gold), and 
Arpad Orban (1938- ) (Hungary) in 1964 (gold). In the 1920s, 
Austria's Hakoah- Vienna All- Stars, an outstanding all- Jewish 
team, played a series of matches in Palestine and the United 
States. In New York City in 1926 Hakoah-Vienna set a U.S. 
single-game attendance record (46,000) that was not broken 
for over 40 years. Many of the teammates of Hakoah-Vienna 
left Austria in the 1930s and continued their soccer careers in 
Palestine and the United States. Bela Guttmann (1900-1981), a 
Hungarian who also played for Budapest's mtk Club, became 
one of the world's top soccer coaches in the 1950s and 1960s. 

The Meisel brothers, Hugo (1895-1968) and Willy (1897- 
1967), were Austrian soccer personalities. Willy, who became 
one of Europe's most respected sportswriters, was a goalkeeper 
for the Austrian national team; Hugo founded the Interna- 
tional or World Cup competition in 1927 and was head of the 
Austrian Football Association in the 1930s. Hungary produced 
many outstanding Jewish players, coaches, and administrators, 
beginning with a member of the first national team, Olym- 
pic swimmer and medalist Alfred Hajos (Arnold Guttmann) 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



(1878-1955), the first modern Olympic swimming champion, 
and his brother, Henrik. Mark Lazarus (1938- ) was a British 
soccer player. In the Soviet Union, Mikhail Romm was one of 
the organizers of soccer in the 1920s, and Mikhail Loshinsky 
played on the national team before World War 11. 

The Israel Football Federation was founded in Palestine 
in 1928 and its first international match was played in 1934. 
The first side representing the State of Israel played in New 
York City in 1948. Israel reached the quarterfinal round in the 
1968 Olympic Games and the final round of 16 in the World 
Cup competition in 1970. The star of the team was the captain, 
Mordechai ("Mottele") Spiegler. 

American soccer pioneer Nathan Agar (1887-1978) in- 
troduced soccer in the New York City area in 1904 and helped 
found the United States Football Association in 1913. In 1929 
the all-Jewish Hakoah All-Stars of New York City won the 
National Challenge Cup. 

Johan Neeskens (1951- ) played for Ajax of Amsterdam, 
which won the European Cup in 1971-73, and for World Cup 
finalist Netherlands in 1974 and 1978. As a player for the New 
York Cosmos, he was named to the North American Soccer 
League All- Star team in 1979. 

Goalie Shep *Messing (1949- ) was a member of the 
1972 United States Olympic team and the 1977 North Ameri- 
can League champion New York Cosmos. Goalkeeper Ar- 
nold Mausser (1954- ) of the Tampa Bay Rowdies was named 
American Player of the Year in the North American Soccer 
League in 1976, and goalie Alan Mayer was accorded the same 
honor in 1978. Mayer played for the San Diego Sockers. 

The Maccabee Club of Los Angeles, which included a 
number of Israeli students, won the United States National 
Challenge Cup in 1973, 1975, and 1977-78. 

Alan Rothenberg, a lawyer, was elected president of the 
U.S. Soccer Federation in 1990. Rothenberg served as commis- 
sioner of soccer in the 1984 Olympic Games. In 1990 Henry 
Kissinger, former U.S. secretary of state, was named vice chair- 
man of the U.S. World Cup '94 organizing committee. 

Yair Allnut was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic 
Games team and a gold medalist in the 1991 Pan American 
Games. Jeff Agoos (1968- ) had 134 international appear- 
ances with the national team, played with the U.S. Under- 15, 
Under-17, Under-20, World University and Indoor National 
Teams, and was a member of five championship teams dur- 
ing his mls career. Debbi Belkin played with the U.S. gold 
medal team in the inaugural Women's World Championships 
in China in 1991. Arcady Gaydamak (Ari Barlev, 1952- ), a 
Russian- Israeli billionaire, bought the Betar Jerusalem soc- 
cer team in August 2005. He is also owner of the Hapoel Jeru- 
salem basketball team. His son, Alexandre "Sasha" Gaydamak, 
bought a 50 percent share of the Portsmouth fc soccer team 
in January 2006. 

Automobile Racing 

Britain's Woolf Barnato (1895-1948), a director of Bentley Mo- 
tors and son of Barney *Barnato of South African diamond 

fame, won three consecutive Le Mans 24-hour Grand Prix of 
Endurance races in 1928-30. In a 14-year career, Rene Dreyfus 
(1905-1993) of France triumphed in 36 races and gained the 
Grand Prix of Monaco (1930) and the Grand Prix of Belgium 
( x 934)- After winning the national driving championship in 
1936, Mauri *Rose (1906-1981) of the United States drove to 
three victories (1941, 1947, and 1948) in the Indianapolis 500- 
mile classic. Sheila Van Damm (1922-1987) of Great Britain 
was the European women's driving champion in 1954-55. Rob- 
ert Grossman (1923- ) of the United States placed among the 
top ten finishers in six consecutive Le Mans races (1959-64). 
Peter Revson (1939-1974) of the United States won the World 
Challenge Cup in 1968, the 1973 British and Canadian Grand 
Prix events and was runner-up at the 1971 Indianapolis 500, 
but was killed during a practice run in 1974. American Steve 
Krisiloff placed fourth in the 1978 Indianapolis 500. Jody 
* Scheckter (1950- ) of South Africa placed third in the world 
driving championships in 1974 and was runner-up in 1977. 
His Grand Prix victories included Swedish (1974 and 1976); 
British (1974); South African (1975) and Argentinean, Mone- 
gasque and Canadian in 1977. In 1979 Scheckter won the Bel- 
gian, Monegasque and Italian Grand Prix events and became 
South Africa's first world driving champion. He retired from 
international racing competition after the 1980 season. Kenny 
Bernstein (1944- ) won a record-tying four consecutive U.S. 
National Hot Rod Association Funny Car Championships in 
1985-88. He switched to the Top Fuel class in 1990 and the 
following year had a record six victories in a season. In 1992 
Bernstein recorded four wins and became the first drag racer 
to cover a quarter mile at more than 300 miles per hour. 


Jews early developed an interest in baseball, which had its 
origins in the 1840s. Lipman E. (Lip) Tike became baseball's 
first professional in 1866 when he played third base for the 
Philadelphia Athletics at a salary of $20 per week. In 1882 
Louis Kramer (1849-1922) helped organize the major league 
American Association, and was its president in 1891. Aaron S. 
Stern (1853-1920), a clothing merchant, was a co-founder of 
the American Association and owner of the Cincinnati Reds 
in 1882-90. The Reds won the first American Association 
championship in 1882. Other officials of the Cincinnati club 
included Edgar Mayer Johnson (1836-?), secretary, 1877-80, 
and Nathan Menderson (1820-1904), president, 1880. Jacob 
C. (Jake) Morse (1860-1937), who became a noted sports- 
writer, was manager of the Boston team in the Union League 
in 1884. Barney *Dreyfuss, president of the Louisville Colo- 
nels in 1899 and owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1900 
to 1932, founded the World Series in 1903. One of the game's 
most controversial owners, Andrew Freedman (1860-1915), a 
lawyer and a power behind New York City's Tammany Hall, 
was president of the New York Giants in 1894-1902. Louis 
W Heilbroner (1861-1933) managed the St. Louis Cardinals 
in 1900, and nine years later founded baseball's first statisti- 
cal bureau. Harry (Judge) Goldman (1857-1941) was an or- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


ganizer of the American League in 1900, and with the Frank 
brothers, Moses and Sydney, served as an official of the Bal- 
timore club in the new league in 1901-2. Besides Pike, the 
outstanding players prior to 1900 were William M. (Billy) 
Nash (1865-1929), a third baseman who played in the major 
leagues for 15 years, a member of pennant- winning teams in 
1890 (Boston, Players League) and 1891-93 (Boston, National 
League), and manager of Philadelphia in 1896; James John 
(Chief) Roseman (1856-1938), an outfielder with the New York 
team that won the American Association pennant in 1884, 
and player/manager of the St. Louis club in the same league 
in 1890; and Daniel E. Stearns (1861-1944), first baseman on 
the Cincinnati team that won the first American Association 
championship in 1882. 

Players who gained success in the major leagues after 
1900 included Hank *Greenberg (1911-1986), the first Jewish 
member of the Baseball Hall of Fame; pitching great Sandy 
*Koufax (1935- ), first Jewish pitcher and youngest player 
ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame; and Lou *Boudreau 
(1917-2001), a member of the Hall of Fame whose mother was 
from an Orthodox Jewish family. Al *Rosen (1924- ), third 
baseman, American League home run champion in 1950 and 
1953, voted the leagues Most Valuable Player in 1953; Erskine 
Mayer (1891-1957), a pitcher who won 21 games for the Phil- 
adelphia Phillies in 1914 and 1915; Charles Solomon (Buddy) 
Myer (1904-1974), an infielder with Washington and Boston 
for 17 years who played in the 1925 and 1933 World Series, won 
the League batting title of 1935, and compiled the lifetime bat- 
ting mark of .303; Larry *Sherry (1935- ), pitching hero of the 
Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1959 World Series; Art *Shamsky 
(1941- ), an outfielder who hit four home runs in four con- 
secutive at bats and batted.300 for the 1969 World Champion 
New York Mets; and Kenny Holtzman (1945- ), who had the 
most number of wins for a Jewish pitcher and who pitched 
no-hitters in 1969 and 1972. 

Also George R. Stone (1876-1945), an outfielder for the 
St. Louis Browns who won the American League batting 
title in 1906; Barney Pelty (1880-1939), pitcher, compiled 
a 2.62 earned run average in a ten-year (1903-12) Ameri- 
can League career with the St. Louis Browns and Washing- 
ton Senators; Benjamin M. (Benny) Kauff (1890-1961), out- 
fielder, was the batting champion of the Federal League in 
1914 and 1915, and a member of the National League champion 
New York Giants in 1917; Sid ^Gordon (1917-1975), 1941-43, 
1946-55; Harry Danning (1911-2004), 1933-42; Saul Rogovin 
(1922-1995), 1949-53, 1955-57; Samuel A. (Sammy) Bohne 
(Cohen) (1896-1977); Andrew (Andy) Cohen (1904-1988), 
1926, 1928-29; Calvin (Cal) *Abrams (1924-1997), 1949-56; 
Morris (Morrie) Arnovich (1910-1959), 1936-41, 1946; Harry 
Eisenstat (1915-2003), 1935-42; Harry Feldman (1919-1962), 
1941-46; Myron (Joe) Ginsberg (1926- ), 1948, 1950-54, 
1956-62; Moe *Berg (1902-1974), an outstanding linguist 
as well as baseball player and a member of the U.S. Intel- 
ligence who undertook espionage in Japan and Germany, 
and worked for the Office of Strategic Services (oss) dur- 

ing World War 11, 1923, 1926-39; Barry Latman (1936- ), 
1957-67; James (Jim) Levey (1906-1970), 1930-33; Jimmy 
*Reese (1904-1994), 1930-32; Jacob (Jake) Atz (1879-1945), 
1902, 1907-09; Goodwin (Goody) Rosen (1912-1994), a 
Canadian, 1937-39, i944~45; Philip (Mickey) Weintraub 
(1907-1986), i933"35> 37-38, 1944-45; Norman (Norm) Miller 
(1946- ),i965- ; Michael P. (Mike) Epstein (1943- ), 1966- ; 
Steve *Stone (1947- ), 1971-81, won the Cy Young Award in 
1980; Ross Baumgarten (1955- ), 1978-82; Ron Blomberg 
(1948- ), 1969, 1971-76; Jeff Newman (1948- ), 1976-84; 
Steve Yeager (1948- ), 1972-86; Larry Rothschild (1954- ), 
1981-82; Scott Radinsky (1968- ), 1990-93, 1995-2001; Jesse 
Levis (1968- ), 1992-99; Alan Levine, (1968- ), 1996, 1998- ; 
Brad Ausmus (1969- ), 1993- ; Shawn *Green, (1972- ), 
1993- ; Mike Lieberthal, (1972- ), 1994- ; Scott Schoeneweis 
( 1 973~ ) 1999 - y Gabe Kapler, (1975- ), 1998- ; Jason Marquis, 
(1978- ), 2000- ; Kevin Youkilis (1979- ), 2004- ; Justin 
Wayne (1979- ), 2002-2004, Adam Stern (1980- ), 2005- ; 
and Adam Greenberg (1981- ), who was hit in the head by 
the first pitch he saw in the Major Leagues on July 9, 2005, 
and was out for the remainder of the season. 

Jacob A. (Jake) Pitler (1894-1968) was an infielder for 
the Pittsburgh Pirates (1917-18) and a popular coach for the 
Brooklyn Dodgers (1948-57), and Al *Schacht (1892-1984) 
pitched for the Washington Senators (1919-21), was a coach 
for the Senators and Boston Red Sox and became known as 
the "Clown Prince of Baseball." He was followed by Max *Pat- 
kin (1920-1999), who was also known as the "Clown Prince 
of Baseball" for his goofy antics as a rubber- necked, double- 
jointed comic genius. Dolly *Stark (1897-1968) and Al For- 
man (1928- ) were National League umpires. 

Baseball executives of the modern era included Judge 
Emil E. Fuchs (1879-1961), owner and manager (1929) of 
the National League Boston club in 1923-35; Leo J. Bondy 
(1883-1944), vice president of the New York Giants, 1934-44; 
Sidney Weil (1891-1966), owner of the Cincinnati Reds, 
1930-33; William Benswanger (1892-1972), son-in-law of 
Barney Dreyfuss, president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1932-46; 
Harry M. Grabiner (1890-1948), vice president of the Chicago 
White Sox, 1939-45, and part-owner and vice president of the 
Cleveland Indians, 1946-48; Hank Greenberg, vice president 
and general manager, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, 
1948 to 1963; Gabe *Paul (1910-1998), was vice president and 
general manager of the Cincinnati Reds (1951-1960), president 
and general manager of the Cleveland Indians (1961-1973), 
president of the New York Yankees (1974-1977), and president 
of the Indians (1978-1984). Jerold C. Hoffberger (1919-1999) 
helped return major league baseball to Baltimore in 1953, be- 
came principal owner of the Orioles in 1965, and sold the 
team in 1979; Marvin Milkes, general manager of the Seattle 
(1969) and Milwaukee (1970) teams of the American League; 
Charles R. Bronfman was chairman and principal owner of 
the Montreal Expos from 1968 to 1990. Fred Wilpon (1936- ) 
is owner of the New York Mets; Walter Haas Jr. (1916-1995) 
was owner of the Oakland Athletics from 1980-1995; Lewis 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Wolff, U.S., owner of the Oakland Athletics; Jerry *Reinsdorf 
(1936- ) has been owner of the Chicago White Sox since 1981 
(and the Chicago Bulls since 1985). Jeffrey Loria bought the 
Florida Marlins in 2002; the president is David Samson, the 
vice chairman is Joel Mael, and the general manager is Larry 
Beinfest. Stuart Sternberg became principal owner of the 
Tampa Bay Devil Rays in October 2005. 

Al Rosen served as president of the New York Yankees 
(1978-79), Houston Astros (1980-1985) and San Francisco 
Giants (1985-1992). Bob Lurie was owner of the San Fran- 
cisco Giants (1976-1992). Theo N. Epstein (1973- ), son of 
novelist Leslie *Epstein (1938- ) and grandson of Oscar- 
winning screenwriter Philip G. * Epstein (1909-1952), is 
general manager of the Boston Red Sox (2002- ). Andrew 
Friedman is executive vice president of the Tampa Bay Devil 

Harold (Lefty) Phillips (1969-71) and Norman *Sherry 
(1976-77) managed the American League California Angels; 
Larry Rothschild managed the Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 
1998-2001, and was pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds 
(1992-1993), Florida Marlins (1995-1997) and Chicago Cubs 

Hank Greenberg's son, Steve, served as the deputy com- 
missioner of baseball from 1989-93. Bud *Selig (1934- ), for- 
mer owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, was named chairman 
of baseball's executive council in 1992 and given the authority 
to act as commissioner. 

Marvin *Miller (1917- ) served as the executive direc- 
tor of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 
1966 to 1984. 


Invented in 1891 in the United States, the game was ideally 
suited to the crowded urban areas where most of the nations 
Jewish population lived. Jewish settlement houses on New 
York's East Side and Chicago's West Side gave Jewish youth 
their first opportunity to play the game and set many play- 
ers on their way to stardom. Jews played basketball in the 
1890s, and in 1900 the first Jewish professional player, Paul 
("Twister") Steinberg (1880-1964), began his career at Lit- 
tle Falls, New York. Later he coached at Cornell University 
(1910-12), and for many years acted as referee at college games. 
Frank Basloe (1887-1966), professional player and coach of 
the Herkimer, New York, team, organized a squad that toured 
the country in 1903-23. Basloe was president of the New York 
State League in 1937-48. Harry Baum (1882-1959), a New York 
City settlement worker and professor of electrical engineer- 
ing at the City College of New York, developed a style of play 
that made outstanding professional players of Barney *Se- 
dran, Louis Sugarman (1890-1951), Jake Fuller (Furstman), 
and Max (Marty) Friedman (1889-1986). Friedman captained 
the World War 1 American Expeditionary Force team that won 
the Inter- Allied Games basketball tournament and introduced 
the sport to Europe. Other outstanding professionals of the 
1910-25 era were William Cone and Emanuel (Doc) Newman 

(1890-?). Henry Hart Elias (1882-1941) was the first Jewish 
college player. He played on the initial Columbia University 
team in 1901; was the team's captain in 1903, and the school's 
first basketball coach in 1904-05. The first Jewish player to 
win collegiate honors, Samuel Melitzer (1888-1970), an All- 
East selection in 1907, and an All-American in 1909, was also 
from Columbia. William Laub, 1926; Louis Bender (1910-?), 
1930, 1932, and David Newmark (1946- ), 1966, also received 
All-America recognition at Columbia. From 1909 to 1950 the 
City College of New York produced teams that were among 
the best in the nation and were nearly all-Jewish. With the ex- 
ception of Ira Streusand (1890-1964), 1908, professional star 
Nat *Holman trained all the other Jewish players from ccny 
who were selected as All- Americans, namely Louis Farer, 
1922; Pincus (Pinky) Match (1904-1944), 1925; Moe Spahn, 
1932; Mo Goldman (1913-?), 1934; Bernard Fliegel, 1938; Wil- 
liam (Red) *Holzman (1920-1998), 1942, and Irwin Dambrot 
(1950). All- America selections from other New York City 
schools (New York University, Long Island University, and St. 
John's) were Maclyn (Mac) Baker (1898-1985), 1920-21; Milton 
Schulman, 1936; Robert Lewis, 1939; Jerome (Jerry) Fleishman 
(1922- ), 1943; Sid *Tannenbaum (1925-1988), 1946-47; Dolph 
*Schayes (1928- ), 1948; Donald Forman (1926- ), 1948; Barry 
Kramer (1942- ), 1963-64; Ben Kramer (1913-1999), 1936; 
Jules Bender (1914-1982), 1937; John Bromberg, 1939; Daniel 
Kaplowitz, 1939; Irving Torgoff, 1938-39; Oscar (Ossie) Schect- 
man, (1919- ), 1941; Jackie Goldsmith (1921-1968), 1946; Max 
(Mac) Kinsbrunner (1909-1972), 1930; Max (Mac) Posnack, 
1931; Nathan Lazar, 1933; Jack (Dutch) Garfinkel (1920- ), 1939; 
Harry Boykoff (1922-1978), 1943, 1946; Hyman (Hy) Gotkin, 
1944-45; and Allan Seiden, 1958-59. In 1928-31 Kinsbrunner, 
Posnack, Albert (Allie) Schuckman and Jack (Rip) Gerson 
were members of the "Wonder Five," one of college basket- 
ball's most famous teams. 

Other All- America players included Cyril Haas, Prince- 
ton, 1916-17; Leon (Bob) Marcus, 1918-19; Samuel Pite, Yale, 
1923; Emanuel (Menchy) Goldblatt (1904-1994), Pennsylva- 
nia, 1925-26; Carl M. Loeb Jr., Princeton, 1926; Edward Wine- 
apple, Providence, 1929; Louis Hayman, Syracuse, 1931; Jerry 
Nemer (1912-1980), Southern California, 1933; Herbert Bonn, 
Duquesne, 1936; William Fleishman, Western Reserve, 1936; 
Marvin Colen, Loyola of Chicago, 1937; Meyer (Mike) Bloom, 
Temple, 1938; Bernard Opper (1915-2000), Kentucky, 1939; 
Louis Possner, DePaul, 1940; Morris (Moe) Becker (1917-1996), 
Duquesne, 1941; Irving Bemoras (1930- ), Illinois, 1953; Len 
Rosenbluth (1933- ), North Carolina, 1955-57, college player 
of the year in 1957; Lawrence Friend (1935-1998), California, 
1957; Donald Goldstein, Louisville, 1959; Jeff Cohen, William 
and Mary, 1960-61; Arthur Heyman (1941- ), Duke, 1961-63, 
college player of the year in 1963; Howard Carl, DePaul, 1961; 
Robert I. (Rick) Kaminsky (1942- ), Yale, 1964; Talbot (Tal) 
*Brody (1943- ), Illinois, 1965, and subsequently a star in 
Israel; Neal Walk (1948- ), Florida, 1968-69; and Dave Kufeld, 
Yeshiva U. 1977-1980, and a io th -round draft pick of the nba's 
Portland Trailblazers. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


College coaches included Leonard Palmer (1882-?), 
first ccny coach, 1909-16; Edard Siskind (1886-1955), Ford- 
ham, 1910; Samuel Melitzer, nyu, 1911; Michael Saxe, Villa- 
nova, 1921-26; Louis Sugarman, Princeton, 1921; David Tobey 
(1898-1988), Savage School of Physical Education, 1924-42 
and Cooper Union, 1947-60, an outstanding referee from 1918 
to 1945 and the author of the first book on basketball officiating 
(1943), and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame; Leon- 
ard D. Sachs (1897-1942), Loyola or Chicago, 1924-42, had a 
224-129 record; Emil S. Gollubier (1890-1969), Chicago He- 
brew Institute, 1918-62; Dolly Stark (1897-1968), Dartmouth, 
1929-36, 1945-46; Bernard (Red) *Sarachek (1912-2005), 
Yeshiva, 1943, 1946-69; Harry Stein (1916-1959), Brandeis, 
1949-58; Samuel Cozen, Drexel Tech, 1952-68, had a 213-94 
record; David Polansky, ccny, 1953-54, 1957-58, 1960-68, 
1970-71; Roy Rubin, Long Island University, 1961- , in 1968 
liu was the small college national champion; Harold (Hal) 
Blitman, Cheyney State, 1962-69; Jules Rivlin, Marshall, 
1956-62; Irving Olin (1917-1970), Brandeis, 1964; and Harry 
*Litwack (1907-1999), Temple, at the Philadelphia school be- 
ginning in 1925 as a player and coach. He became head coach 
in 1953 and his teams won over 300 games, including the 1969 
National Invitational Tournament in New York City. 

The majority of the players who made All -Am eric a in 
college went on to play professional basketball. Other Jewish 
players who excelled as professionals were David (Pretzel) 
Banks (1901-1952), the Original Celtics; George (Red) Wolfe 
(1905-1970), Shikey Gotthoffer and Inky Lautman of the Phila- 
delphia Sphas; Louis Spindell and Phil Rabin (Rabinowitz) of 
the American League; National Basketball Association play- 
ers Leo Gottlieb, Sidney (Sonny) Hertzberg, Max *Zaslofsky 
(1925-1985), all-NBA guard in 1947-50, who led the league in 
scoring in 1948, and Danny Schayes, son of Dolph. 

Coaches, managers, and owners of professional teams 
included Jack (Nibs) Neiman, manager of the Rochester, New 
York, Centrals, 1902; Eddie ^Gottlieb (1900-1979), organized, 
played for, and coached the South Philadelphia Hebrew As- 
sociation (Sphas) team in 1918-45. In 1946 he helped found 
the Basketball Association of America (which became the 
National Basketball Association) and from 1947 to 1968 was 
a coach and owner of the Philadelphia Warriors; Abe *Saper- 
stein (1902-1966), founder, owner, and coach of the Har- 
lem Globetrotters; Barney *Sedran (1891-1964), a coach and 
promoter in 1932-46; Les ^Harrison (1904-1997), coach and 
owner of the Rochester Royals of the nba, 1949-1958; Benja- 
min (Ben) Kerner (1917- ), owner of the Tri- Cities/ Milwau- 
kee/St. Louis Hawks in the National Basketball League and 
the National Basketball Association, 1946-68; Max Winter, 
owner of the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1950s; Mark *Cuban 
(1958- ), owner of the Dallas Mavericks; Jerry Reinsdorf 
(1936- ), owner of the Chicago Bulls; Leslie Alexander, Hous- 
ton Rockets; Micky Arison, Miami Heat; William Davidson, 
Detroit Pistons; Abe *Pollin (1923- ) Washington Wizards; 
Donald Sterling, Los Angeles Clippers; Herb Kohl, Milwaukee 
Bucks; and Howard Schultz, Seattle Supersonics. 

Arnold (Red) *Auerbach (1917- ), was Boston Celtics 
coach and general manager; Red Holzman played for the 
Rochester Royals in 1946-54, and led the New York Knicks 
to the nba championship in 1970 and 1973. Maurice *Podol- 
off (1890-1985) was elected president of the Basketball Asso- 
ciation of America in 1946 and served as the first commis- 
sioner of the National Basketball Association until 1963. Marty 
*Glickman (1917-2001) was a radio broadcaster and founding 
father of basketball on radio, and is a member of the Basket- 
ball Hall of Fame. Leo Fischer (1897-1970), an outstanding 
sportswriter, was president of the National Basketball League 
in 1940-44, and Harry Rudolph (1907-1973), president of the 
Eastern League. Larry *Fleisher (1930-1989) was head of the 
nba players union from 1962-1988, and a member of the nba 
Hall of Fame as contributor. 

Referees who gained prominence were Sam Schoenfeld 
(1907-1956), who starred at Columbia University in 1928-30 
and later founded and was first president of the Collegiate Bas- 
ketball Officials Association; Mendy *Rudolph (1928-1979), 
who became an nba official in 1953 and in 1969 became the 
leagues chief of referees; and Norman Drucker, who after 15 
years with the nba became supervisor of aba officials in 1969. 
Jews coached and won medals at the Olympic *Games. Ju- 
lius Goldman, an American, coached Canada to an Olympic 
medal in 1936, and Alexander Gomelsky did the same for the 
Soviet Union in 1964 and 1968. Canadian Olympic coaches in- 
clude Men Abromowitz (1948) and Ruben Richman (1934- ). 
Harry D. *Henshel served as chairman of the United States 
Olympic Basketball Committee in 1956, and Harold Fischer 
coached United States gold medal teams at the 1951 and 1967 
Pan-American Games. Tanhum (Tanny) Cohen-Mintz of 
Israel was named to the European All-Star team in 1964 and 
1965. Members of the Basketball Hall of Fame are Leonard D. 
Sachs, David Tobey, Barney Sedran, Nat Holman, Red Auer- 
bach, and Abe Saperstein. 

Ernie * Grunfeld won gold medals as a member of the 
American men's teams at the 1975 Pan-American Games and 
the 1976 Olympic Games, and Nancy *Lieberman (1958- ) 
was a member of the American women's teams which gained 
Pan-American Games gold and Olympic Games silver med- 
als. Lieberman was named outstanding college player twice, 
winning the Wade Trophy following the 1978-79 and 1979-80 
seasons, when her school Old Dominion won the women's 
championship. In 1979 she helped the United States win the 
fib a World Championship and a silver medal in the Pan- 
American Games. 

Larry *Brown (1940- ) was named Coach of the Year in 
the American Basketball Association in 1973 and 1975. In 1979 
Brown moved to the college ranks to coach at ucla. His team 
reached the finals of the national collegiate (ncaa) champion- 
ship in his first season. Brown, basketball's traveling man, then 
went to the nba New Jersey Nets (1981-1983), and then to the 
University of Kansas, which won the ncaa championship in 
1988. He returned to the nba in 1988 with the Antonio Spurs, 
which went from a 21-61 record in Brown's first year to 56-26 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



the following year - the 35 -game swing from one season to 
the next an nba record. In 1992 he moved from San Antonio 
to the Los Angeles Clippers, then to the Indianapolis Pacers 
(!993 -1 997)> Philadelphia 76ers (1997-2002), Detroit Pistons 
(2003-2004), and New York Knicks (2005-2006). His brother 
Herb (1936- ) is also a veteran coach. 

Alexander Gomelsky (1928-2005) returned to coach 
the U.S.S.R. national team in 1977. His team won an Olympic 
bronze medal in Moscow. 

Players Dolph Schayes (1972) and Max (Marty) Friedman 
(1971); coach Harry Litwack (1976); and contributors Edward 
Gottlieb (1971) and Maurice Podoloff (1973) were elected to 
the Basketball Hall of Fame. 

David Stern became the commissioner of the National 
Basketball Association in 1983 and in 1992 was named the most 
powerful person in sports by a national sports publication. The 
Sporting News said of him, "As a direct result of David Sterns 
progressive leadership, the nba now has the greatest univer- 
sal appeal of any professional sport." 

Mickey *Berkowitz (1954- ) is considered the greatest 
basketball player in Israel's history. 

Senda Abbott *Berenson was the "Mother of Women's 
Basketball" and was inducted into the International Basket- 
ball Hall of Fame in 1985. 


John M. Brunswick (1819-1886), who was born in Bengarten, 
Switzerland, and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, was one of the 
earliest manufacturers of billiard equipment in the United 
States. He built the country's first perfect billiard table in 
1845. Moses Bensinger (1839-1904), Brunswick's son-in-law, 
invented the balkline game in billiards in 1883, and in 1890 
became president of his father-in-law's firm, which had been 
moved to Chicago. Outstanding American professional bil- 
liard players were Leon Magnus, winner of the first world 
three-cushion championship in 1878; Harry P. Cline, world 
three-cushion (1907) and 18.2 balkline (1910) champion, and 
Arthur Rubin (1905-?), world professional three-cushion 
champion (1961 and 1964); Sydney Lee (1903-?), the British 
amateur champion in 1931-34 and winner of the world ama- 
teur billiard championship in 1933, American amateurs Max 
Shimon, winner of the national three- cushion championship 
in 1929 and 1930, and Simon ("Cy") Yellin, national pocket 
billiard champion in 1929. 

Bowling (Tenpin) 

The Brunswick Company entered the bowling business in 1888 
and helped establish the tenpin game around the world. Bowl- 
ing pioneers Samuel Karpf (1866-1923) and Dutch-born Louis 
B. Stein (1858-1949) helped organize the American Bowling 
Congress in 1895. One of the first to write about bowling in 
the United States, Karpf served in 1896-1907 as the first sec- 
retary of the American Bowling Congress. Stein, an outstand- 
ing bowler, established 300 as the score in tenpin bowling and 
determined that the weight of the ball should be 16 pounds. 
The Bowling Hall of Fame includes charter member Mortimer 

("Mort") Lindsey (1888-1959); Phil Wolf, American Bowling 
Congress champion (1928); and Sylvia Wene Martin (1928- ), 
women bowler of the year in 1955 and i960. 

Mark *Roth (1951- ), Bowler of the Year in 1977, 1978, 
1979, and 1984, is a member of Pro Bowlers Association (pba) 
Hall of Fame. Roth, Barry Asher (1972-73), and Marshall Hol- 
man (1977-78) gained All-America selections. Holman was 
player of the year in 1987. Roth and Holman were voted into 
the U.S. Professional Bowlers Association's Hall of Fame in 
1987 and 1990, respectively. Veteran Barry Asher joined the 
pba Hall of Fame in 1988, and the American Bowling Con- 
gress' Hall of Fame added Norman Meyers in 1983 and Al 
Cohn in 1985. 


The most active years of Jewish participation in professional 
boxing were in the latter part of the 18 th and the first quarter 
of the 19 th centuries in England, and in the first half of the 20 th 
century in the United States. The best boxers of the early era 
were Daniel *Mendoza (1764-1836), champion of England in 
1792-95, and Samuel ("Dutch Sam") Elias (1776-1816), cred- 
ited with the invention of the uppercut. Other English Jews 
who fought in the ring during this period were Barney Aaron 
("the Star of the East"; 1800-1850); Henry Abrahams; the Be- 
lasco brothers - Abraham ("Aby") (1797-?), Israel (1800-?), 
Samuel, and John; Isaac Bittoon (1778-1838); Elisha Crabbe 
(d. 1809); Abraham da Costa; Barnard Levy; Keely Lyons; 
Daniel Martin; Isaac Mousha; Abraham Robes; Solomon So- 
dicky; and the cousins of Daniel Mendoza, Angel Hyams and 
Aaron Mendoza. 

A number of English fighters bridged the gap between 
the early and modern eras. Barney ("Young Barney") Aaron 
(1836-1907), son of Barney Aaron, Asher Moss, nephew of 
Daniel Mendoza and Israel ("Izzy") Lazarus (1812-1867); an d 
his sons Harry (1839-1865) and Johnny, who emigrated to 
the United States in the 1850s and 1860s and helped build in- 
terest in boxing by giving lessons and putting on exhibitions 
around the country. "Young Barney" Aaron won the light- 
weight championship of the United States in 1857. 

The first Jewish boxer to win a world championship un- 
der Marquis of Queensberry rules was Harry ("The Human 
Hairpin") Harris (1880-1959), bantamweight, 1901-02. 

Other American world professional champions were 
light heavyweight Battling *Levinsky (Barney Lebrowitz; 1891- 
1949) in 1916-20; Maxie ("Slapsie") *Rosenbloom (1904-1976) 
in 1930-1934; and Bob Olin (1908-1956) in 1934-35; middle- 
weights Al McCoy (Albert Rudolph; 1894-1966) in 1914-17; 
Ben Jeby (Morris Jebaltowsky; 1907-1985), 1932-33; and Solly 
Krieger (1909-1964), 1938-39; welterweights Jackie ^Fields 
(Jacob Finkelstein; 1907-1987) in 1929-30, 1932-33; and Bar- 
ney *Ross; lightweights Benny ^Leonard; Al ("The Bronx 
Beauty") Singer (1907-1961) in 1930; and Barney *Ross; feath- 
erweights Abe *Attell (1884-1970) in 1901-12; Louis ("Kid") 
Kaplan (1902-1970) in 1925-27; and Benny Bass (1904-1975) 
in 1927-28; bantamweights Abe Goldstein (1898-1907) in 1924; 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Charley ("Phil") Rosenberg (Green; 1902-1976) in 1925-27; and 
flyweight Izzy ("Corporal") Schwartz (1900-1988) in 1927-29. 
Other world champions were Ted ("Kid") *Lewis, Great Brit- 
ain; Victor ("Young") Perez (1911-1942), France (Tunisia), 
flyweight 1931-32; Robert Cohen (1930- ), France (Algeria), 
bantamweight 1954-56; and Alphonse Halimi (1932- ), France 
(Algeria), bantamweight 1957-59. World junior champions 
were Mushy Callahan (Vincent Morris Sheer; 1905-1986), wel- 
terweight 1926-30; Jack Bernstein (John Dodick; 1899-1945), 
lightweight 1923; and Jackie ("Kid") *Berg (Judah Berg- 
man; 1909-1991), Great Britain, welterweight 1930-31. Other 
noted American boxers were Monte Attell (1885-1960), Abe's 
brother; Jacob ("Soldier") Bartfield (1892-1970); Joe Bern- 
stein (1877-1931); Harry Blitman (1908-1972); Phil ("Ring Go- 
rilla") Bloom (1894-?); "Newsboy" Brown (Dave Montrose; 
1904-1977); Joe Choynski (1869-1943); Leach Cross (Louis 
Wallach; 1886-1957); Charley Goldman (1887-1968), who was 
also a successful trainer; Ruby ("The Jewel of the Ghetto") 
^Goldstein (1907-1984), both a boxer and referee; Willie Jack- 
son (Oscar Tobler; 1897-1961); Danny Kramer (1900-1971); 
Harry Lewis (Besterman; 1886-1956); Ray Miller (1908-1987); 
Young Montreal (Morris Billingkorf; 1897-1978); Young 
Otto (Arthur Susskind; 1886-1967); Dave Rosenberg (1901- 
1 979); Johnny ("Young") Rosner (1895-1974); Lew Tendler 
(1898-1970); Sid ("Ghost of the Ghetto") Terris (1904-1974); 
Al "Bummy" *Davis (Albert (Avraham) Davidoff; 1920-1945), 
welterweight boxer; Abe ("The Newsboy") *Hollander- 
sky (1887-1966, who engaged in more professional bouts 
(1,309) than any other fighter in boxing history; and Mike 
Rossman, who won the World Boxing Association light heavy- 
weight championship in 1978 at age 21, the youngest claim- 
ant of the light heavyweight title. He lost the championship 
in 1979. 

Champions of Europe included British boxers Anshel 
("Young") Joseph, welterweight, in 1910; Matt Wells (1886- 
1953), lightweight in 1911-12; Harry Mason, lightweight, in 
1923; Johnny Brown (d. 1975), bantamweight, in 1923 and Al 
Phillips, featherweight, in 1947; and also Albert Yvel, France, 
light heavyweight, in 1950-51. Winners of national professional 
titles were Jack Bloomfield in 1922, Joe Fox (1892-1965), in 1921; 
and Harry Mizler (d. 1990) in 1934 of Great Britain; Al Fore- 
man, Curly Wilshur (Barney Eisenberg), Sammy Luftspring 
and Maxie Berger of Canada; Tiger Burns (Dan Levine), Al 
James, and David Katzen of South Africa; and Waldemar Hol- 
berg of Denmark. In 1971, Henry Nissen of Australia (1948- ) 
won the British Commonwealth flyweight title. 

Jews have been involved in all other activities connected 
with the boxing business as managers, trainers, and promot- 
ers. Promoters included Mike ^Jacobs (1880-1953), J oe Ja- 
cobs ("Yussel the Muscle"; 1896-1940), Harry Markson, Her- 
man Taylor, Lew Raymond, Johnny Attell, Sam Becker, Larry 
Atkins, Goldie Ahearn, Archie Litman, Irving Schoenwald, 
Willie Gilzenberg, Bonnie Geigerman, and Jack Begun of the 
United States; Bella Burge, Jack ^Solomons, Nathan Shaw, 
Mickey Duff, Esther Goldstein, and Harry Levene of Great 

Britain; Ludwig Japhet of South Africa; Gilbert Benaim of 
France; and Paul Damski of Germany. Ray *Arcel (1899-1994) 
is considered the greatest trainer in the sport. Whitey (Mor- 
ris) *Bimstein (1897-1969) was another outstanding boxing 
trainer. Teddy *Brenner (1917-2000), considered the great- 
est matchmaker in boxing history, is a member of the Inter- 
national Boxing Hall of Fame. Lou *Stillman (Louis Ingber; 
1887-1969) was owner of Stillman's Gym. 

The Boxing Hall of Fame, founded by ring historian 
Nat ^Fleischer, has enshrined charter members Daniel Men- 
doza, Benny Leonard, Abe Attell, Barney Ross, Joe Choynski, 
Lew Tendler, Ted ("Kid") Lewis, Battling Levinsky, Barney 
("Young") Aaron, and Max *Baer. 

Gilbert Cohen of France won the light middleweight 
championship of Europe in 1978. 

Australian Henry Nissen was the Commonwealth fly- 
weight champion in 1971-74. Victor Zilberman of Roma- 
nia won a bronze medal in welterweight division, and Rollie 
Schwartz served as manager of the very successful American 
team at the 1976 Olympic Games. 

American Saoul Mamby won the World Boxing Coun- 
cil s version of the world junior welterweight championship 
in 1980. Shamil Sabyrov of the ussr won a 1980 Olympic gold 
medal in the light -flyweight division. Dmitry *Salita, a reli- 
gious Jew who does not box on Shabbat, won the nab a junior 
welterweight championship in August 2005. 

French boxers Gilles Elbilia and Fabrice Benichou en- 
joyed ring successes in the 1980s and 1990s. Elbilia won the 
French and European welterweight titles in 1982 and 1983 
while Benichou won the World and European featherweight 
championships in 1989 and 1991. 

Scotland's Gary (Kid) Jacobs defeated an Australian op- 
ponent and won the British Commonwealth welterweight 
championship in 1988. He lost the title the following year. In 
1992 he became the British welterweight champion. 


Jewish bullfighters include Sidney * Franklin of the United 
States and Randy Sasson (ElAndaluz) of Colombia. 


The sport began in 1865 and four years later Montagu Mayer 
competed in canoe races in England. In 1880 Arthur *Bren- 
tano and Adolph Lowenthal were among the 25 canoeists 
who founded the American Canoe Association. Leo Friede 
(1887-1959) of the United States won canoe sailing's oldest tro- 
phy, the International Sailing Challenge Cup, in 1913 and 1914. 
Olympic medalists include Leon Rottman (Romania) two gold 
(1956) and one bronze (i960); Imre Farkas (Hungary), two 
bronze (1956, i960); Laszlo Fabian (Hungary), gold (1956); 
Klara Fried (Hungary), bronze (i960), and Naum Prokupets 
(U.S.S.R.), bronze (1968). 

The two -man Whitewater team of Joe Jacobi and his part- 
ner won a Olympic Games gold medal in 1992. It was only 
the fifth canoeing or kayaking gold medal won by the U.S. in 
Olympic Games history. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 




The first Jewish cricket players of note played at Oxford and 
Cambridge. D.L.A. Jephson represented Cambridge Univer- 
sity in 1891 and 1892 and John E. Raphael played for Oxford 
from 1903 to 1905. Both later represented Surrey County In- 
ternational cricket players included the South Africans Man- 
fred J. Susskind, Norman ("Mobil") Gordon, Dennis Gamsy 
and Aron ("Ali") Bacher. The last, a physician who devoted his 
early years of medical practice to nonwhites, achieved wide- 
spread distinction as a cricketer in the South African victory 
over Australia in 1966. He was appointed captain of the South 
African team for the 1970 test matches against England, the 
first Jew to reach such a position. Though an outspoken ad- 
vocate of multiracial cricket, he was to have led his all-white 
team in the Commonwealth Matches at Edinburgh in 1970, 
but violent opposition in England to South African apartheid 
in sport caused cancellation of his team's participation. 

Prue Hyman of Great Britain was captain of the wom- 
en's team at Oxford and represented her country in interna- 
tional competition. Patrons of the game were Sir Julian Cahn 
of Great Britain, Wilfred Isaacs of South Africa, and John I. 
Marder (d. 1975), president of the United States Cricket As- 
sociation. Cricket has been played in Israel since the Man- 
date period and later gained popularity with tours of Israel 
by Maccabi teams and still later by teams from England. Dr. 
Aron (Ali) Bacher of South Africa served as the first Jewish 
captain of a national cricket side in 1970-74. In 1979 Julian 
Wiener became the first Jewish cricketer to play for Australia's 
full international Test side. 


Louis Gompertz of Great Britain perfected the gear rope, or 
bicycle chain, in 1821. Felix Schmal of Austria won one gold 
and two bronze medals at the first Olympic Games in 1896. 


American Neal Shapiro won an Olympic silver and bronze 
medal in 1972 in show jumping, and his countrywoman Edith 
Master gained a 1976 Olympic bronze medal in dressage. Mark 
Laskin, Canada's top rider in 1978 and 1979, helped his coun- 
try win the gold medal at the "alternate Olympics" in Rotter- 
dam, the Netherlands, in 1980. Margie Goldstein was named 
the 1989 and 1991 American Grand Prix Rider of the Year. In 
1991 she became the first show jumper to win eight Grand 
Prix events in one season. Serious injuries cost her an Olym- 
pic Games opportunity in 1992. 


Between 1896 and 1976, 38 Jewish fencers won y6 medals (39 
gold, 22 silver, and 15 bronze) in Olympic competition. Over 
the years they won numerous world, national, European, 
British Empire, Commonwealth, and Pan-American games 
(see ^Olympic Games). Olympic medalists include Eduard 
Vinokurov (silver, 1972 and gold, 1976), Mark Rakita (silver, 
1972) and Grigori *Kriss (bronze, 1972), all of U.S.S.R., and 
Ildiko Uslaky-Rejtoe (silver, 1972), Hungary. Kriss won the 

world epee title in 1971. Albert (Albie) *Axelrod (1921-2004) 
was one of the greatest American fencers in history, compet- 
ing in five consecutive Olympics from 1952 to 1968 and win- 
ning a bronze in i960. Allan *Jay (1931- ) was a British fencer 
and a silver medalist in Individual and Team Epee at the i960 
Olympic. In 1975 Martin Lang of the United States won a Pan- 
American Games gold medal. Americans Yuri Rabinovich 
of Wayne State and Paul Friedberg of Pennsylvania won the 
sabre event in the national collegiate championships in 1979 
and 1980. Leonid Dervbinsky was national epee champion in 
1980 and Peter Schifrin (gold) and Edgar House (silver) won 
Pan-American Games medals in 1979. American medalists 
in the Pan American Games were Elaine Cheris, Paul Fried- 
berg, and Jeff Bukantz in 1987 and Nick Bravin, John Fried- 
berg, Chris O'Loughlin, and Joseph Socolof in 1991. Israel's 
Udi Carmi placed fourth in the foil competition in the 1987 
World Championships. 

Field Hockey 

A women's Olympic Games gold medalist in 1984, and a 
bronze medal winner in 1988, Carina Benninga carried the 
Netherlands flag at the Olympic Games opening ceremony 
in 1992. 

Football (American and Canadian) 

In 1870, a year after college football began in the United 
States, Moses Henry Epstein represented Columbia Univer- 
sity against Rutgers in the third game ever played. The follow- 
ing year, Emil G. *Hirsch, a future Reform rabbi, appeared 
in the initial football game at Pennsylvania University. In 
1874, Henry Joseph, a Canadian, played for McGill University 
against Harvard in an important series of contests. Lucius Lit- 
tauer, future "Glove King of America" and congressman from 
New York State, played for Harvard in 1875 and 1877. Littauer 
returned to his alma mater in 1881 and became college foot- 
ball's first coach. Phil King of Princeton University, one of 
early football's greatest players, was an All- American selec- 
tion in 1890-93 and a member of the College Football Hall of 
Fame. He later coached at his alma mater and at Wisconsin 
University. Sam Jacobson, a member of the Syracuse Athletic 
Association, helped organize the first football team at Syra- 
cuse University in 1889. 

Those who followed King as All- American selections 
were Sigmund ("Sig") Harris (1883-1969), Minnesota, 1903- 
04; Israel ("Izzy") Levene (1885-1930), Pennsylvania, 1905-06; 
Joseph Magidsohn (1888-1969), Michigan, 1909-10; Ar- 
thur ("Bluey") Bluethenthal (1891-1918), Princeton, 1911-12; 
Leonard Frank (1889-1967), Minnesota, 1911; A. Harry Kal- 
let (1887-1965), Syracuse, 1911; Victor H. Frank (1900- ), 
Pennsylvania, 1918; Joseph Alexander (1898-1975), Syra- 
cuse, 1918-20; Ralph Horween (1896-1997), Harvard, 1916; 
his brother Arnold Horween, (1898-1985), Harvard 1920; 
Max Kadesky (1901-1970), Iowa, 1922; George Abramson 
(1903-1985), Minnesota, 1924; Milton ("Irish") Levy, 1925; 
Benny ^Friedman (1905-1982), Michigan, 1925, and a mem- 
ber of the College and Professional Football Hall of Fame; Ray 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Baer (1905-1968), Michigan, 1927; Benny Lorn, California, 
1927-29; Lou Gordon (1908-1976), Illinois, 1927; Fred Sington 
(1910-1998), Alabama, 1929-30; and Mike Alexander, a mem- 
ber of the College Football H all of Fame; Gabriel Bromberg, 
Dartmouth, 1930; Aaron Rosenberg (1912-1979), Southern 
California, 1932-33, and a member of the College Football 
Hall of Fame; Harry "Doc" Newman (1909-2000), Michi- 
gan, 1932; Franklin Meadow (1912-1989), Brown, 1932; David 
Smukler (1914-1971), Temple, 1934; Isadore ("Izzy") Weinstock 
(1913-1997), Pittsburgh, 1934; Marshall ^Goldberg (1917- ), 
Pittsburgh 1937-39, an d a member of the College Football Hall 
of Fame; Sid *Luckman (1916-1998), Columbia, 1937-38, and 
a member of the College Football Hall of Fame; Leroy Mon- 
sky (1916-1981), Alabama, 1937; A. Sidney Roth (1916-2001), 
Cornell, 1938; Mervin Pregulman (1922- ), Michigan, 1943; 
Dan Dworsky (1927- ), Michigan, 1947; Bernard Lemonick, 
Pennsylvania, 1950; Al Goldstein (1936-1991), North Carolina, 
1958; Ron *Mix (1938- ), Southern California, 1959; Rich Stot- 
ter (1945- ), Houston, 1967; Bob Stein (1948- ), Minnesota, 
1967-68; Michael Andrew Seidman (1981- ), Carolina Pan- 
thers; and Igor Olshansky (1982- ), San Diego Chargers. 

Among other leading football coaches were Israel Lev- 
ene (1885-1930), an Ail-American selection, who played for 
Pennsylvania and later coached at the University of Tennes- 
see and at his alma mater; Fred Lowenthal (1879-1931), who 
starred at the University of Illinois and later coached its team; 
Edward Siskind (1886-1955), wno played and coached at Ford- 
ham University; Frank Glick (1893-1979) of Princeton Uni- 
versity, who coached at his university and at Lehigh; Arnold 
Horween, Ail-American at Harvard and coach of the team 
in 1926-30. Others were Benny *Friedman, Joe Alexander, 
Louis Oshins (1902-1975), Marv *Levy (1926- ), and Mau- 
rice ("Mush") Dubofsky (1910-1970), captain of the George- 
town University team. 

Although professional football began officially in 1895, 
the Syracuse, n.y., Athletic Association played the game for 
money before that date. Jewish members of the team included 
the manager and coach, Samuel Jacobson; the Freeman broth- 
ers, David and Chuck (1882-?), and an outstanding running 
back, Paul (Twister) Steinberg (1880-1964). Steinberg was also 
a member of the champion Philadelphia Athletics in 1902, 
and the famous Canton Bulldogs in 1905-06. In 1898, Bar- 
ney *Dreyfuss of baseball fame was co-owner and manager 
of the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, the champions of professional 
football. Other professional players included John Barsha 
(Abraham Barshofsky) (1898-1976), 1919-20; Leonard Sachs 
(1897-1942), 1920-26; the Horween brothers, Arnold, 1921-24, 
head coach of the Chicago Cardinals in 1923-24, and Ralph 
(1896-1997), 1921-23; Joseph Alexander, 1921-22, 1925-27, head 
coach of the ny Giants in 1926; Jack Sack (Jacob Bernard Sack- 
lowsky) (1902-1980), 1923, 1925-26; Samuel Stein (1906-1966), 
1926, 1929-32; Saul Mielziner (1905-1985), 1929-34; Ollie (Ber- 
nard Oliver) Satenstein (1906-1959), 1929-33; Benny Tried- 
man, 1927-34, head coach of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1932; 
Philip (Motsy) Handler (1908-1968), 1930-36, head coach 

of the Chicago Cardinals in 1943-45, 1949; Louis Gordon, 
1930-38; Harry "Doc" Newman (1909-2000), 1933-37, in x 933 
he led the National Football League in passing for the n.y. Gi- 
ants; Charles (Buckets) *Goldenberg (1911-1986), 1933-45; Ed- 
win Kahn (1911-1945), 1935-37; David Smukler, 1936-39, 1944; 
Marshall "Biggie" Goldberg (1917- ), 1939-43, 1946-48; Sidney 
*Luckman (1916-1998) 1939-50, a member of the Professional 
Football Hall of Fame; Alexander (Allie) *Sherman (1923- ), 
1943-47, head coach of the n.y. Giants, 1961-68; Herbert Rich, 
1950-56, an all-league selection in 1952; Sidney Youngelman, 
1955-63; Michael Sommer, 1958-63; and Ron Mix, 1960-69, a 
member of the all-time American Football League team. Sid 
*Gillman (1911-2003) served as head coach of the Los Ange- 
les Rams in 1955-59 an d Los Angeles and San Diego Chargers 
in 1960-69. Al *Davis (1929- ) was head coach and is now 
owner of the Oakland Raiders, and was commissioner of the 
American Football League in 1966. Benjamin F. Lindheimer 
(1896-1960) was commissioner of the All-America Confer- 
ence in 1946-47; and Art *Modell (1925- ), owner of the 
Cleveland Browns which became the Baltimore Ravens, and 
president of the National Football League in 1967-70. Referees 
of note were Norman ("Bobie") Cahn (1892-1965), Joseph J. 
Lipp (1889-1958), Joseph Magidsohn (1888-1969), and Samuel 
A. *Weiss (1902-1977). 

Canadian professional football executives included Louis 
Hayman, Harry Sonshine, Neville Winograd, David Loeb, 
Samuel Berger, and G. Sydney Halter, the first commissioner 
of the Canadian Football League. Halter and Abe Eliowitz 
(1910-1981), a U.S. player, are members of the Canadian Foot- 
ball Hall of Fame. 

Gary Wichard, quarterback, C.W. Post (1971), Randy 
Grossman (1952- ), end, Temple (1973) and David Jacobs 
(!957 - )> kicker, Syracuse (1978) won All- America honors. 
Grossman played professionally with the Pittsburgh Steel- 

Ron Mix (1938- ), offensive tackle with the San Diego 
Chargers, retired in 1973 after a 13 -year career. He was named 
to the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1979. Harry New- 
man, an All- America quarterback at Michigan in 1932, was 
named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975. 

In 1972 Carroll *Rosenbloom (1907-1979) exchanged 
ownership of the Baltimore Colts for the same position with 
the Los Angeles Rams of the nfl. Zygmunt Wilf, a child of 
Holocaust survivors, became owner of the Minnesota Vi- 
kings in 2005. Other owners include Al Lerner (1933-2002), 
Cleveland Browns; Arthur Blank (1942- ), Atlanta Falcons; 
Robert *Kraft (1942- ), New England Patriots; Daniel Snyder, 
Washington Redskins; Malcom Glazer (1928- ), Tampa Bay 
Buccaneers (and majority owner of Manchester United), Jef- 
frey Lurie (1951- ), Philadelphia Eagles; and Robert *Tisch 
(1926-2005), co-owner of the New York Giants. 

Players who performed on Super Bowl teams were Lyle 
Alzado (1949-1992), Los Angeles Raiders, 1984; Ed Newman 
(1951- ), Miami Dolphins, 1985 and John Frank (1962- ) and 
Harris Barton (1964- ), San Francisco 49ers, 1989 and 1990. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Alzado, Newman, Barton, and Brad Edelman of the New 
Orleans Saints were named to All-Pro teams during this pe- 
riod. Barton, an offensive tackle, was an All-Pro in 1990 and 

Coach Marv Levy, the Phi Beta Kappa scholar who was 
hired by the Buffalo Bills in 1986, led the Bills to four consecu- 
tive Super Bowl appearances (1991-1994). Coach Sid Gillman 
and Al Davis were voted into the Professional Football Hall 
of Fame in 1983 and 1992. In 1989 Gillman was also named to 
the College Football Hall of Fame. Beginning in i960, Davis 
served as a personnel assistant and scout, head coach, gen- 
eral manager, league commissioner, principal team owner, 
and chief executive officer. Davis was a Gillman assistant in 


The development of outstanding Jewish golfers was slow as 
most established golf clubs barred Jews from membership. 
Elaine V. Rosenthal (189 6-?) of the United States was one of 
the first successful golfers. She won a number of tournaments 
after placing second in the national amateur championship in 
1914. Herman Barron (1909-1978) was a leading player on the 
United States professional tour in the late 1940s, a member of 
the United States Ryder Cup team in 1947, and world profes- 
sional senior champion in 1963. Sidney Brews (1899-1972) of 
South Africa had a long career as a professional golfer. Begin- 
ning in 1925, he won 30 Open championships in six countries. 
South African national amateur champions and international 
players included Brews' brother-in-law, Mickey Janks, South 
African national champion of 1948; Betty Bental Peltz; Flor- 
rie Josselsohn; Rita Levitan; Isabel Blumberg; and Judy An- 
gel. Martin (Marty) Fleckman of the United States won the 
national collegiate title in 1965 and two years later became the 
first golfer in history to win the first tournament he entered 
as a professional. In 1968, Bruce Fleisher (1948- ) won the 
United States amateur championship, and, with Richard Sid- 
erowf, was a member of the winning U.S. team at the world 
amateur championships in Australia. Fleckman, Fleisher, Sid- 
erowf, and Arnold Blum were all members of winning U.S. 
teams in Walker Cup competition. Douglas Silverberg of Can- 
ada and Roberto Halpern of Mexico were also international 
golfers. Jane Weiller Selz, an American, won the women's na- 
tional amateur championship of Mexico in i960. In 1960-61, 
Lord (Lionel) Cohen of Great Britain served as captain of the 
famous Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland. 
Israel opened its first golf course at Caesarea in 1961. 

American Amy *Alcott (1956- ) had 29 career wins, in- 
cluding five majors, and was inducted into World Golf Hall 
of Fame in 1999. Richard Siderowf, an American, won the 
Canadian Amateur in 1971 and the British Amateur in 1973 
and 1976. 

After 13 years as a club professional, Bruce Fleischer re- 
turned to the tour and won his first Professional Golf Asso- 
ciation tournament in 1991. In 1992, Monte Scheinblum won 
the National Long Drive championship. Entertainer Dinah 

Shore was the 1985 recipient of the Patty Berg Award for out- 
standing contributions to women's golf. 


Germany's Flatow cousins, Alfred (1869-1942) and Gustav Fe- 
lix (1875-1945), won six medals (five gold) in gymnastic com- 
petition at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Other 
Olympic medalists included Imre Gellert (Hungary), silver, in 
1912; George Gulack (1905-1986; United States), gold, in 1932; 
Philip Erenberg (1909-1992); United States), silver, in 1932; Ag- 
nes *Keleti (1921- ; Hungary), 11 medals, including five gold, 
in 1948-52, and 1956; Alice Kertesz (Hungary) gold and silver, 
in 1956; Mikhail Perelman (U.S.S.R.), gold, in 1952; and Vladi- 
mir Portnoi (U.S.S.R.), silver and bronze, in i960. Abie *Gross- 
feld (1934- ) and Mark Cohn (1943- ) of the United States 
won gold medals in the Pan-American Games, and Daniel 
Millman (1946- ) of the United States became the first world 
trampoline champion in 1964. Joseph Salzman was co-coach 
of the United States Women's Olympic team in 1948. Harvey 
Berkman, who was physical education director of Chicago's 
Jewish People's Institute from 1908 to 1922, was responsible for 
the training of some of America's best gymnasts. 

Abie * Grossfeld coached the United States men's team at 
the 1972 Olympic Games. Marshall Avener was a 1972 Olym- 
pian and a 1975 Pan-American Games gold medalist. Sharon 
Shapiro of ucla won all four individual events and the all- 
around title at the United States women's college champion- 
ships in 1980. 

Olympic medalists included Mitch *Gaylord (1961- ) 
of the U.S., who won a gold, silver, and two bronze medals in 
1984; Valeri Belenki of Azerbaijan, a gold and bronze winner 
in 1992; and Kerri *Strug (1977- ) of the U.S., who won a gold 
medal at the 1996 Games. 

Soviet gymnast Maria *Gorokhovskaya (1921- ) won 
seven medals at the 1952 Olympics. Americans Lucy Wener 
and Brian Ginsberg won Pan American Games gold medals 
in 1983 and 1987. 


This is a very popular sport with American Jews. During the 
1960s, the membership of the United States Handball As- 
sociation was 35 percent Jewish. The game has had numer- 
ous Jewish national champions including Vic *Hershkowitz 
(1918- ), handball's greatest all-round player, and Jimmy * Ja- 
cobs (1931-1988), the best player of the 1960s. Hershkowitz 
won a record 40 national titles in one-wall, three-wall, and 
four- wall play between 1942 and 1968. Jacobs' victories were 
gained in three-wall and four-wall competitions. 

Handball held its first national championship in 1919, 
and the following year Max Gold won the title. Other players 
who gained national singles titles were George Nelson, Ken 
Schneider, Paul Haber, Simon ("Stuffy") Singer, Martin Deca- 
tur, Ken Davidoff, Steve Sandler, Michael Schmookler, Irving 
Jacobs, Harry Goldstein, Jack Londin, David Margolis, Joseph 
Garber, Arthur Wolfe, the Alexander brothers Seymour and 
Morton, and Sheila Maroschick. Members of the Helms Hand- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


ball Hall of Fame include players Hershkowitz and Schneider 
and Hyman Goldstein and Judge Joseph Shane, both national 
commissioners of the United States Handball Association. 

Paul Haber (1970-71) and Fred Lewis (1972, 1974-76, 
1978) won United States Handball Association singles titles. 

Horse Racing 

An English Jew named Lamego was engaged in this sport as 
early as the 18 th century. Active in English racing during this 
period were Baron Maurice de *Hirsch, who gave all his rac- 
ing winnings to charity, and Sir Ernest *Cassel. Philip Levi 
(1821-1898) was an early patron of the sport in Australia. In 
the United States, Ben Cohen was an officer of the Maryland 
Jockey Club in 1830, and six years later a horse owned by 
Aaron Philip Hart won the first running of the King's Plate 
in Canada. 

Americas leading jockey before the Civil War was Jacob 
Pincus (1838-1918) who began to ride in 1852. Pincus became 
a trainer and in 1881 he saddled the first American-bred horse 
to win England's Epsom Derby. One of those who employed 
Pincus as a trainer was August *Belmont, who had entered 
the sport in 1866 as a founder of Jerome Park and was the 
first president of the American Jockey Club. This club in- 
cluded many Jewish horse owners. Other prominent Ameri- 
can owners and trainers in the 19 th century were David Gideon 
(1846-1929), Charles Fleischmann (1834-1897), Moses Gold- 
blatt (1869-1941), and Julius (Jake) Cahn (1864-1941), owner 
and trainer of the 1897 Kentucky Derby winner, Typhoon 11. 

Georges Stern (1882-1928) of France earned the title 
"King of the Jockeys" during a career that ran from 1899 to 
1926. During that time Stern won almost every major Euro- 
pean event, including the 1911 Epsom Derby. America's Wal- 
ter Miller (1890-1959), another successful jockey of the same 
era, is a member of the national Jockeys Hall of Fame. He 
had ridden in the United States (1904-09) and Europe be- 
fore weight problems forced his retirement. Miller was the 
American riding champion in 1906-07 and had ridden 388 
winners in 1906, a record that lasted until 1952. Other out- 
standing American jockeys were Lewis Morris; the Renick 
brothers, Joseph (1910-?) and Sam (1912-1999); Robert Mer- 
ritt (1912- ); Willie *Harmatz (1931- ); and Walter ("Mousy") 
*Blum (1934- ), who rode over 3,000 winners from 1953 and 
was national riding champion in 1963-64. Harry ("Cocky") 
Feldman (1915-1950) was the national riding champion of 
South Africa seven times during an 18 -year career. He was 
killed in a riding accident, as was Britain's Reginald Sassoon 
(1893-1933), an amateur steeplechase rider. Nikolai Nasibov 
was the Soviet Union's leading jockey in the 1960s. 

The most noted American trainers, who were also own- 
ers and breeders, were Hirsch * Jacobs (1904-1970) who sad- 
dled more winners (3,596) than any other trainer in history; 
his brothers Eugene and Sidney; the Byer brothers, Nathan- 
iel, Frank, and Jacob; Mose Shapoff; the Lowenstein brothers, 
Jake (1889-1971) and Mose; Philip Bieber, founder and first 
president of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective As- 

sociation; Kentucky Derby winners Sol Rutchick and Jacob 
("Jack") Price; Arnold Winick; Howard ("Buddy") Jacobson 
(1931-1989), the national training champion in 1963-65; and 
Yevgeni Gottlieb of the U.S.S.R. 

Prominent owners and breeders included Sir Ellice V. 
Sassoon (1881-1961), who had four Epsom Derby winners; 
the Joel brothers, Jack (1862-1940) and Solomon ("Solly"; 
1866-1931); Nat Cohen (d. 1988), winner of the 1962 Grand 
National Steeplechase at Aintree; Stuart Levy (1908-1966); 
Heinrich Loebstein; Michael Sobell; Sir Henry *d'Avigdor- 
Goldsmid; and Evelyn ^Rothschild, Great Britain; Jean Stern 
(1874-1962), who won the Grand Steeplechase of Paris four 
times; Georges *Wildenstein (1893-1964) and his son Dan- 
iel; Alec Weisweiller; Barons Edouard (1868-1949), James 
(1878-1957), Maurice (1891-1957) and Guy de Rothschild, 
France; Sir Adolph Basser (1887-1964), Australia, winner of 
the Melbourne Cup in 1951; Abe Bloomberg and G.M. Jaffee, 
South Africa; and the Americans Benjamin Block (1873-1950) 
and John D. Hertz (1879-1961; Hertz and his wife Frances 
(1881-1963) won the Triple Crown in the United States in 
1943 with Count Fleet; Herbert M. Woolf (1880-1964), J.J. 
(Jack) Amiel, Harry F. ^Guggenheim, and Isaac Blumberg 
were all Kentucky Derby winners; Bernard M. *Baruch, Wil- 
liam Littauer (1865-1953); Harry M. *Warner (1881-1958); 
Alvin Untermeyer (1882-1963); Louis B. *Mayer; Albert Sab- 
bath (1889-1969) whose horse Alsab cost him $700, earned 
$350,000 from him and sired winners who earned $4,000,000. 
There were also Nelson I. Asiel (1886-1965); Robert Lehman, 
Arlene Erlanger (1895-1969); Louis K. Shapiro (1897-1970); 
Irving Gushen (1899-1963), president of the Horsemen's Be- 
nevolent and Protective Association in 1953-63; Stanley Sagner 
(1908-1964); John M. *Schiff; Jacob Sher (1889-1972); Louis 
E. Wolfson; Isador (Colonel) Bieber (1887-1974); Maxwell 
H. Gluck (1896-1984); Jack Dreyfus Jr. (1914-?), chairman of 
the Board of Trustees of the New York Racing Association in 
1969-70; and David J. Davis, whose Australian thoroughbred, 
Phar Lap, was considered by many to have been the greatest 
racehorse of all time. 

American racing executives included Louis Smith (1888- 
1968), Benjamin F. Lindheimer (1890-1960), Leonard Flor- 
sheim (1880-1964), Joseph Schenck (1878-1961), Morris 
Shapiro (1883-1969) and his son John D., the originator of 
the Washington, d.c, International Classic and president 
of the Thoroughbred Racing Association; Mervyn *Leroy 
(1900-1987); J.J. ("Jake") Isaacson (1896-?); David Haber; Nat 
Herzfeld; Joseph Cohen; Joseph Gottstein (1891-1971); the 
Cohen brothers, Herman and Ben, who controlled Maryland's 
famous racetrack, Pimlico; Dr. Leon Levy (1895-?) and his son 
Robert; Hyman N. Glickstein, Saul Silberman (1896-1971), 
Philip H. Iselin, and J. Samuel Perlman (1900- ), a Canadian, 
who was publisher and editor of the Daily Racing Form and 
Mo rn ing Te legraph . 

Harness racing became a major sport in the United States 
in 1940 when George Morton Levy (1889-1977) introduced 
night racing at Roosevelt Raceway in New York. Levy also 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



encouraged and backed the invention of the mobile starting 
gate. He is a member of the Hall of Fame of the Trotter. Even 
before 1940, track-owner Louis Smith modernized the sport 
by eliminating the use of heats to determine winners; he built 
and owned New England's first modern racetrack, Rocking- 
ham. Sacher ("Satch") Werner (1898-?), was the outstanding 
American trainer and driver; before turning professional he 
was an amateur champion of Vienna, Austria. Amateur driv- 
ers included Nathan S. *Straus (1848-1931), who gave up rac- 
ing and yachting to devote himself to philanthropies which 
helped lay the foundations of the State of Israel; and Neal 
Shapiro, won an Olympic silver and bronze medal in 1972 in 
show jumping. 

American jockey Walter Blum (1934- ) retired after the 
1975 season, after a 22 -year riding career with 4,383 winners. 
Maxwell Gluck (1977) and Louis Wolfson (1978) were named 
the outstanding American thoroughbred owner-breeders of 
the year. Wolfson's horse Affirmed won the 1978 Triple Crown 
(Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes) and was 
named Horse of the Year in 1978 and 1979. Sir Michael Sobel 
and Sir Arnold Weinstock's Troy won the 200 th running of the 
English Derby and Harry Meyerhoff s Spectacular Bid won 
the Kentucky Derby. 

Jockeys Walter Blum and Jacob Pincus were enshrined in 
the U.S. Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame in 1987 and 1988. 
Blum rode 4,382 winners in a 22-year career (1953-1975), and 
Pincus, a leading 19 th -century jockey, was also an outstanding 
trainer. Another Hall of Fame entry in 1990 was owner Sam 
Rubins John Henry, a two-time American Horse of the Year. 

In 1983, with 2,500 victories to his credit, South African 
jockey Stanley Amos retired, the same year another South Af- 
rican jockey, Basil Barcus, recorded his 1,000 th win. 

Ice Hockey 

Defense man Yuri Lyapkin of the U.S.S.R. won an Olympic 
gold medal in 1976. 

Mathieu ^Schneider (1969- ) is a two-time nhl All- 
Star and was a member of the U.S. Olympic team and Team 

Gary *Bettman (1952- ) has been commissioner of the 
National Hockey League since 1993. Edward and Peter Bronf- 
man, owners of the Montreal Canadiens since 1971, sold the 
team in 1978. Steve Ellman is owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, 
and Ed Snider owns the Philadelphia Flyers. Stan *Fischler 
(1932- ) is an author, broadcaster, and leading authority on 
ice hockey. 

Ice Skating (Figure and Speed) 

American Scott Cramer won the mens professional figure 
skating gold medal at the world championships in 1980. Dr. 
Alain Calmat, an Olympic silver medalist in figure skating in 
1964, became Frances Minister of Youth and Sports in 1984. 
American Judy Blumberg and her partner won bronze medals 
in ice dancing in the World Figure Skating Championships in 
1983-85. They placed fourth in the 1984 Olympic Games. 

In speed skating, American Andrew Gabel (1964- ) is 

a four-time Olympian (1988, 1992, 1994, 1998) and holds a 
silver medal as a member of the 1994 5,000 m Short Track 
relay team. In figure skating, Sasha *Cohen (1984- ), Sarah 
*Hughes (1985- ), and Irina *Slutskaya (1979- ) all skated in 
the Olympics and have won numerous medals. 

Jai Alai 

Richard I. Berenson (1893-1967) was responsible for the suc- 
cess of jai alai in the United States. He was president and gen- 
eral manager of the Miami Fronton from 1929 until his death. 
He was succeeded by his son, L. Stanley ("Buddy") Berenson. 
Among Americans who played professional jai alai were Mar- 
tin Perfit and Howard Wechsler. 

American Joey Cornblit, a professional for 20 years, won 
the Tournament of Champions (a meeting of the sport s top 
players) in 1992, when he also won his ninth Florida singles 


In 1964, when this sport was added to the Olympic program 
for the first time, James Bregman (1941- ) of the United States 
won a bronze medal in the middleweight division. Other inter- 
nationalists included Gabriel Goldschmied, Mexico, a bronze 
medalist in the 1967 Pan-American Games; Ronald Hoffman 
(1944- ), Bernard Lepkofer (1933- ), and Irwin Cohen of the 
United States; Ivan Silver of Great Britain; Salvadore Gold- 
schmied of Mexico, and Jorge Gleser (1947- ) of Argentina 
and the United States. 

Irwin Cohen (1971-72, 1974, 1976-78), Steve Cohen (1974- 
75 > 1977) an d David Pruzansky (1973) won United States na- 
tional titles. Jesse Goldstein won a 1979 Pan-American Games 
silver medal for the United States in the heavyweight division. 
Amy Kublin won American women's titles in 1976-78, 1980. 

After 40 years, Israel won its first Olympic medals in 
1992. Yael *Arad gained a silver medal in women's competi- 
tion and Shay Oren Smadga took a bronze in the men's events. 
Other Olympic medalists were American Robert Berland, sil- 
ver, and Canadian Mark Berger, bronze, in 1984. 

Pan American Games medalists in 1983 and 1987 in- 
cluded Berland, Berger and also American Damon Keeve. 


Between 1986 and 1988, Kathy Jones won two silver and four 
bronze medals in World Cup and World Championship com- 
petition. Danny Hakim of Australia won a silver medal in the 
1988 World Championships. 


Early internationalists were Henry Joseph of Canada, who in 
1876 played in a game before Queen Victoria in London, and 
Lionel Moses of the United States, the first known Jewish cap- 
tain of an intercollegiate sports team. Like Joseph, Moses was 
a member of teams that toured Great Britain before 1900. Ber- 
nard M. Baruch played the game at the City College of New 
York in the late 1880s. Another early American player was 
Clarence M. Guggenheimer, who played for Johns Hopkins 
and later for Harvard. Milton Erlanger (1888-1969), also of 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Johns Hopkins, served as president of the Intercollegiate La- 
crosse Association and was later elected to the Lacrosse Hall 
of Fame. Other members of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame include 
Henry S. Frank, captain of the 1909 Johns Hopkins team, and 
Victor K. Ross, who starred at Syracuse University and led his 
team to victory over Oxford- Cambridge in 1922. 

Lawn Bowling 

This is a very popular game with the Jews of South Africa. In 
the 1960s, when Jews represented 1% of the total population, 
25% of all lawn bowlers in the country were Jewish. South 
African bowlers and administrators included Alfred ("Alf") 
Blumberg, who in 1950 became his country's first Jewish lawn 
bowling internationalist and winner of an Empire Games' 
gold medal in Auckland, New Zealand, that year; Abraham 
(Pinky) Danilowitz, 1958 Empire Games gold medalist in 
singles, and Leon Kessel who represented South Africa in the 
first world lawn bowling championship in 1966. Harry Hart 
of Rhodesia was awarded the mbe for his services as player 
and administrator in 1964. David Magnus was one of Austra- 
lia's star players. 

Luge (Toboggan) 

American Gordy Sheer won gold medals in the North Ameri- 
can Championships doubles in 1990 and 1991. Sheer also par- 
ticipated in the 1992 Olympic Games. 

Motorboat Racing 

In 1905, two years after the sport began, America's Jacob Sie- 
gel won the inboard hydroplane National Championship Tro- 
phy. The following year, Britain's Lionel de * Rothschild was 
co-owner of the winning boat at the Harmsworth Trophy 
event in Ireland. Bernard M. Baruch and his brother Hartwig 
won the National Championship Trophy in 1906-09. Herbert 
Mendelsohn was victorious in the 1937 Gold Cup race, and S. 
Mortimer Auerbach (1901- ) won the National Sweepstakes 
in 1939. Donald Aronow of the United States, a boatbuilder, 
designer, and driver, won the world title in ocean racing in 
1967 and 1969. In the latter year, the Union of International 
Motorboating awarded him its Gold Medal of Honor. Other 
American ocean drivers were Jerry Langer (1966 national out- 
board champion), Peter Rothschild (1966 national inboard 
champion), and William Wishnick (1924- ; 1970 national 
inboard champion). In 1967, Milton Horwitz of the United 
States won the national title in predicted-log competition. 
Horwitz, Aronow, Langer, and Rothschild are members of 
the Gulf Marine Hall of Fame. Other international drivers 
included Arnie Levy and his son Derrick, South Africa; and 
Alan Bernstein, Rhodesia. 

American William Wishnick won the 1971 world ocean 
racing title and Dr. Robert Magoon (1971-73) and Joel Halp- 
ern (1976-77) United States national ocean racing champi- 

Don Aronow, American boat designer and two-time 
world offshore powerboat champion (1967 and 1969), died 
in 1987. 


In 1936 Australia's Lionel Maurice Van Praag (19 08-?) won 
the world's first speedway championship in Wembley, Eng- 
land, and Benjamin Kaufman (1911- ), of the United States, 
gained national speedway titles in 1936-37. 

Olympic Games 

Israel joined the United States and a number of other nations 
in the 1980 boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games as a pro- 
test against the U.S.S.R. invasion of Afghanistan. See ^Olym- 
pic Games for list of Jewish medal winners. 


A favorite sport of the Rothschild banking family since the 
1890s, they helped popularize polo in Austria and France. 
Leading Rothschild players were Baron Louis (1882-1954), 
Austria; Barons Edouard Alphonse James (1869-1949), Robert 
(1880-1946), and Elie (1917- ), France and Evelyn (1931- ), 
Great Britain. American players included William Littauer 
(1865-1953); the *Fleischmann brothers, Julius (1872-1925) 
and Max (1877-1951); Robert Lehman (1891-1969); Adam 
Gimbel (1893-1969); Samuel Cohen (1896-1965); and John 
M. SchifF (1904-1987). 

Roller Skating 

American Scott Cohen, who won the world free skating cham- 
pionships in 1985, 1986, 1989, and 1990, became the first sin- 
gles skater to win the title four times. Cohen also won a Pan 
American Games silver medal in 1987. 


In 1858, Britain's Sir Archibald Levin Smith (1836-1901) rowed 
in the Cambridge University crew that defeated Oxford and 
triumphed in the Henley Royal Regatta. During the 1870s 
Henry Altman (1854-1911), Isaac N. *Seligman (1856-1917), 
and Lucius * Littauer were engaged in collegiate rowing in the 
United States. Seligman rowed at Columbia, Littauer at Har- 
vard, and Altman helped to establish the sport at Cornell Uni- 
versity. The Lone Star Boat Club of New York City, America's 
first Jewish rowing group, was organized in 1887. Samuel G. 
Sterne was its president. 

In Olympic competition, Allen P. Rosenberg (1931- ) 
coached the 1964 American rowing team to a pair of vic- 
tories. As a coxswain, Rosenberg won a gold medal in the 
1955 Pan-American Games. Between 1963 and 1966 Don- 
ald Spero (1939- ) of the United States won seven national, 
two Canadian, and the 1966 world championship, in sin- 
gle-sculls. He was an Olympic finalist in 1964 and winner of 
the Diamond Sculls in Britain's Henley Royal Regatta in 
1965. Spero and Rosenberg are members of the Helms Row- 
ing Hall of Fame. Frederic Lane stroked the University of 
Pennsylvania to victory in the Grand Challenge Cup of 
England's Royal Henley Regatta in 1955, to defeat a Soviet 
crew. George Hermann, Herbert Senoff James Kreis, Jerry 
Winkelstein, James Fuhrman (1943- ), and Lawrence 
Gluckman (1946- ) were Pan-American Games gold med- 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



Allen Rosenberg coached and David Weinberg was cox- 
swain of the American crew that won the 1974 eight-oared 
heavyweight race at the World Championships. 

Seth Bauer won an Olympic Games bronze medal in 
1988. Other American participants in the 1988 Olympic Games 
were Sherri Cassuto and Jon Fish. Bauer, Fish, and Cassuto 
won Pan American Games and World Championships med- 
als between 1985 and 1991. 

Pablo Bulgach of Argentina and Betsy Kimmel, U.S., won 
Pan American Games gold medals in 1987 and 1991. 


John E. Raphael (1882-1917) represented England nine times 
in international rugby competitions in 1902-06, and Bethel 
Solomons (1885-1965), later a leading gynecologist, played 
for Ireland ten times in 1908-10. Aaron ("Okey") Geffin of S. 
Africa was the hero of the 1949 test series victory over New 
Zealand. Samuel Goodman was the manager of the United 
States Olympic gold medal teams in 1920 and 1924. Austra- 
lia's Albert A. Rosenfeld (1885- ) and Britain's Lewis Harris 
were outstanding Rugby League players. Rosenfeld appeared 
in the first test series between England and Australia in 1909, 
and during the 1913-14 season he scored a record 80 tries for 
Huddersfield in the Northern Rugby Football League. Harris 
was a member of the Hull Kingston Rovers when they won 
the Challenge Cup in 1925 and were Northern Rugby Football 
League champions in 1921 and 1923. 


In 1868, Philo Jacoby (1837-1922) won the Berlin shooting 
championship as the representative of the American Sharp- 
shooters Association of New York. During the next 30 years 
Jacoby made many trips to Europe, where he triumphed in 
numerous shooting tournaments. In 1876 he captained the 
California team that won the world shooting championship 
at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. For many years 
he was editor and publisher of The Hebrew, one of the first 
Jewish newspapers in San Francisco. Among outstanding 
U.S.S.R. modern shooters were Olympic medalists Lev Vain- 
shtein, 1952; Allan Erdman, 1956; world champion Mikhail 
Itkis, 1958; and Larissa Gurvich, 1967. Gurvich won the Euro- 
pean and World skeet championships in 1975. Joelle Fefer of 
Canada won three Pan American Games medals in 1983 and 
1987. Thomas Bernstein, a member of the Norwegian national 
team, won the U.S. national collegiate (ncaa) rifle champi- 
onship in 1988. 

Squash Racquets & Racquetball 

Victor Niederhoffer won United States squash racquets cham- 
pionships in 1972-75, and the Canadian and North American 
Open titles in 1975. In 1977 Selwyn Machet won the South Af- 
rican amateur championship. American Stuart Goldstein won 
the World professional title in 1978. 

In racquetball Martin Hogen won the United States 
championship in 1978, and his second and third national 
professional racquetball titles in 1979 and 1980. Kathy May 

Teacher won the United States women's national paddle ten- 
nis championship in 1980. 


South African Shaun Tomson won the 1975 American Cham- 
pionship Cup and the World professional title in 1977; he re- 
mained among the world's best surfers in 1985. After a decade 
of competition Tomson had recorded the most victories in the 
Association of Surfing Professionals world tour. 

Swimming and Water Polo 

Jews were active in competitive swimming from the time the 
sport began in the 19 th century. Marquis Bibbero of England 
participated in swimming races in the 1860s and G. Cohen 
set an American record for the 440-yards in 1878. In 1896, 
Jews triumphed in all three swimming events at the first mod- 
ern Olympic Games. They were Alfred Hajos (Guttmann; 
1878-1955), of Hungary and Paul Neumann (1875- ), of Aus- 
tria (see ^Olympic Games). Hajos, an architect, built Buda- 
pest's main swimming pool and in 1924 won a silver medal 
in the Olympic Art competition. Otto Wahle (1880-1963), an 
Austrian Olympian, immigrated to the United States, where 
he became a coach and helped influence the course of Amer- 
ican swimming and coached the American Olympic teams 
in 1912 and 1920. His Olympic successor was William (Bach) 
Bachrach (1879-1959), who coached the Illinois Athletic Club 
swimming team in 1912-54. Bachrach trained many national 
and Olympic champions, including the great Johnny Weiss- 
muller, and headed the Olympic swimming teams in 1924 and 
1928. During the same period, Charlotte Epstein (1885-1938) 
established swimming as a sport for women in the United 
States. She founded the Women's Swimming Association in 
1917 and was responsible for women's swimming being in- 
cluded in the 1920 Olympic Games. Miss Epstein was manager 
of the women's Olympic swimming teams in 1920, 1924, and 
1932, and served as chair of the United States Olympic Wom- 
en's Swimming Committee. She was also chair of the United 
States Maccabiah Games Swimming Committee in 1935. Leo 
Donath of Hungary headed the International Swimming Fed- 
eration in the 1930s. Mark *Spitz (1950- ), who won four med- 
als in the 1968 Olympic Games, set records in the butterfly 
stroke. In 1967, when he was named "world swimmer of the 
year," Spitz won five gold medals in the Pan-American Games. 
In 1972, the year after he became the first Jewish sportsman to 
win the Sullivan Award as the outstanding American amateur 
athlete, Spitz won an unprecedented seven gold medals and set 
seven world records at the Olympic Games. In 1983, Spitz was 
one of the first 20 Olympians named to the U.S. Olympic Hall 
of Fame and Museum. Chosen by the National Association 
of Sportscasters and Sportswriters, Spitz received the second 
highest number of votes cast; only Track and Field great Jesse 
Owens received more. Other swimming Olympic medalists 
were Eva *Szekely (1927- ) Hungarian- born swimmer who set 
ten world records, five Olympic records, and over 100 Hungar- 
ian national records while winning two Olympic medals, ten 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


World University Championships and 68 Hungarian National 
Championships over her 19 -year career. She is a member of 
the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Other winners are 
Andrea Gyarmati, Hungary (silver and bronze), 1972, Wendy 
Weinberg, United States (bronze), 1976; and Lenny *Krayzel- 
burg (1975- ), who won four Olympic gold medals. 

Israel's star swimmers and divers in the 1960s were Yoav 
Raanan, Yvonna Toviss, Abraham Melamed, Gershon Sheffa, 
Moshe Gartel, and Yoram Schneider. 

Jews were prominent too in water polo at the Olympics 
(see ^Olympics). Bela Komjadi (1892-1933), coach of the Hun- 
garian national team in the late 1920s and early 1930s, estab- 
lished Hungary as an Olympic power in water polo. Ameri- 
can Peter Asch won a 1972 Olympic bronze medal in water 
polo. Australia's Russell Basser and American Charles Har- 
ris represented their countries in the 1984 and 1992 Olympic 
Games. Harris was a silver medalist in the 1991 Pan Ameri- 
can Games. 

In 1980, Helen Plaschinski of Mexico won the Latin 
Cup 100 meter freestyle gold medal in Madrid, Spain. Bar- 
bara Weinstein won the United States indoor platform div- 
ing title in 1979 and the outdoor event the following year. She 
also won the 1979 Pan-American Games gold medal in plat- 
form competition. 

Dara Torres won her second gold and third Olympic 
medal in 1992. She gained her first gold in 1984 and received 
a Olympic bronze medal in 1988. Other American medalists 
in major international competition were John Witchel, 1987, 
Pan American Games, two golds, and Cheryl Kriegsman, 
Dan Kutler, and Dan Kanner in the World University Games 
in 1987 and 1991. 

Olympic finalists in 1988 and 1992 were Vadim Alekseev, 
U.S.S.R., and Tomas Deutsch, Hungary. Alekseev, who is now 
an Israeli, won a Goodwill Games silver medal in 1990. 

In Synchronized Swimming, Americans Tracy Long 
and Ann Miller won Pan American Games gold medals in 
1987 and 1991. 

Al Schoenfield, publisher and editor of swimming pub- 
lications, and Dr. Paul Neumann, Austria, 1896 Olympic gold 
medalist, were named to the International Swimming Hall of 
Fame in 1985 and 1986. 

In water polo, American Peter Asch won a 1972 Olym- 
pic bronze medal. Australia's Russell Basser and American 
Charles Harris represented their countries in the 1984 and 
1992 Olympic Games. Harris was a silver medalist in the 1991 
Pan American Games. 

Table Tennis 

Table tennis was organized as a modern sport in the 1920s. 
It proved a very popular game with Jews and several became 
world champions. The Honorable Ivor Montagu (1904-1984) 
served as president of the English or International Table Ten- 
nis Federation from 1922 to 1967. His mother, Lady Sway- 
thling (1879-1965), was also president of the English Table 
Tennis Federation and in 1926 donated the men's world team 

cup which bears her name. M. Cohen of Great Britain won 
the second English open championship in 1922, and Marcus 
Schussheim of the United States was the first American cham- 
pion in 1931. Dr. Roland Jacobi of Hungary triumphed in men's 
singles at the initial world championship in 1927. Other world 
champions in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles were Hun- 
gary's Zoltan Mechlovitz; Gyozo Viktor *Barna (1911-1972), 
who won 22 world titles including five singles championships; 
Richard *Bergmann (1919-1970), an Austrian who won four 
singles titles; Alfred Liebster, Austria, and Angelica *Adel- 
stein-Rozeanu (1921- ), Romania; the sisters Thelma Thall 
and Leah Thall Neuberger, United States; and Svetlana Grin- 
berg, U.S.S.R. 

Ivor Montagu of Great Britain, who became the first 
chairman of the Table Tennis International Federation and 
held the post for over 40 years, died in 1984. 

Tennis and Squash 

As most tennis facilities were located in private clubs that 
barred Jewish membership, progress in this sport was slow. 
Conditions improved after World War 11, as did the rankings 
of Jewish players. The first Jewish player officially ranked in 
the United States was Dr. William Rosenbaum (1882-1951) 
in 1908, and the first to gain the top-ten was Julius Seligson 
(1909-1987) in 1929. In Europe, Mikhail Stern represented 
Romania in the 1922 Davis Cup competition, and in 1928-30 
Baron Hubert de Morpurgo (1897-?) of Italy received world 
ranking. Other players who achieved world ranking included 
Daniel Prenn (1905- ), 1929 Germany, and 1932 Great Brit- 
ain, 1934 (doubles); Ladislav Hecht (1910- ), Czechoslova- 
kia, 1934 (doubles), who defeated Britain's Davis Cup player 
Bunny Austin; Angela *Buxton (1934- ) Great Britain, who 
was a Wimbledon doubles title winner in 1956. Outstand- 
ing tennis players also included Abraham Segal (1931- ), 
South Africa, winner of South African singles champion- 
ship in 1967; Pierre *Darmon (1934- ) France, 1958, 1963-64; 
Tom ("the Flying Dutchman") Okker (1944- ), Netherlands, 
Dutch national champion who won the Italian national sin- 
gles title in 1968; Dick *Savitt (1927- ) an American who was 
Wimbledon champion in 1951 and came out of retirement to 
win both the singles and doubles championships at the 1961 
Maccabiah Games; Herbert *Flam (1928- ), who won more 
top world rankings than any other Jewish tennis player and 
represented the U.S. Davis Cup team in 1951 and 1952; Ameri- 
cans Barbara Breit, 1955, 1957; Anita Kanter, 1952; and Julie M. 
Heldman (1945- ), who as a girl of 12 won her first national 
title, the Canadian Junior Championship, and later won the 
Italian National Women's singles title in 1968; and Pete *Sam- 
pras (1971- ), whose father is Jewish and who is considered by 
many tennis analysts to be the greatest tennis player of all time. 
Among Israel players of note was Eleazar Davidman. 

Americans Julie Heldman (1974), Harold *Solomon 
(i975 - 77> !979)> Brian Gottfried (1977-79), an d Eliot Telscher 
(1980) were ranked among the world's top ten players. Held- 
man played in Federation and Wrightman Cup competition 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



and Solomon and Gottfried in Davis Cup play. Solomon was 
South African Open champion in 1975 and 1976, and Gottfried 
won the French (1975 and 1977), World (1975) and Wimbledon 
(1976) doubles championships. Brian Gottfried and Harold 
Solomon, retired from the professional tour in 1984. 

In 1976 liana Kloss of South Africa won the French 
mixed doubles and the United States women's doubles titles. 
American Bruce Manson won a 1975 Pan-American Games 
gold medal, and Dana Gilbert the 1978 United States women's 
Clay Court championship. 

American Dick Savitt, 1951 Wimbledon winner, was in- 
cluded in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1976. 

Other Americans Eliot Telscher, Brad ^Gilbert (1961- ), 
Aaron Krickstein, and Jay Berger and Israel's Amos Mansdorf 
and Argentina's Martin Jaite joined the world's tennis elite 
in the 1980s. These players and Shlomo Glickstein, Shahar 
Perkiss, and Gilad Bloom of Israel and Andrew Sznajder of 
Canada played in Davis Cup competition. Elise Burgin rep- 
resented the U.S. in Federation Cup play. 

American Jim Grabb was a member of the men's doubles 
combination that won the U.S. Open championship in 1992, 
and Brad Gilbert won a men's singles bronze medal in the 
1988 Olympic Games. 

Joseph Cullman 111, who helped launch the women's pro 
tour, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame 
in 1992. Anna Smashnova was ranked No. 16 on the woman's 
tour in 2002 and 2003. 

National champions in American squash racquets and 
squash tennis were Victor Niederhoffer, Victor Elmaleh, Abra- 
ham M. Sonnabend (1897-1964), Milton Baron, and James 
Prigoff. Prigoff served as president of the National Squash 
Tennis Association, and Roger Sonnabend held the same po- 
sition with the National Squash Racquets Association. Cecil 
Kaplan, David Duchen, and JefFery Maisels were South Afri- 
can national champions and internationalists. 

Track and Field 

Modern track and field had its beginnings in England in the 
1850s and 1860s. An early American runner was Lipman Tike, 
a professional baseball player. Pike ran 100 -yards against a Ca- 
nadian Indian on the Capitoline Grounds in Brooklyn, New 
York, in 1869 and four years later became the Maryland State 
100 -yard champion. Daniel Stern (1849-1923) began to race- 
walk in 1873 and three years later won the one-and three-mile 
events at the first American track-and-field championships. 
He was an early member and officer of the New York Ath- 
letic Club and served on the committee charged with build- 
ing the first cinder track in the United States. In 1875, Philo 
Jacoby (1837-1922) participated in the San Francisco Olym- 
pic Club's first outdoor athletic games. Victor E. Schifferstein 
(1863-?) represented the same California club when he won 
the national long-jump championship in 1888. Earlier that 
year, Schifferstein ran 100 yards in ten seconds to equal the 
world record of the time. The greatest American runner of 
the 19 th century was Lawrence ("Lon") *Myers. He set world 

records in the 440- and 880-yard runs, and won American, 
Canadian, and British national championships in 1879-85. In 
1900, Myer Prinstein (1880-1925) of the United States became 
the first Jewish medalist in Olympic track-and-field compe- 
tition. He won the triple jump and placed second in the long 
jump. Earlier that year Prinstein had established a new world 
mark of 24 feet, 7.25 inches in the long jump. He repeated his 
Olympic triple-jump victory in 1904 and added a gold medal 
in the long jump. In 1906, Prinstein won another gold medal 
in Athens in the long jump, in what was then considered the 
Olympic Games, but some 50 years later the 1906 competi- 
tion was ruled not to have been an Olympiad. Michael Spring 
(d. 1970) won the Boston marathon race in 1904. Abel Kiviat 
(1892-1991) won a silver medal at the 1912 Olympics, and set 
a world 1,500 m record that year. England's most famous track 
star was Harold ^Abrahams who won the 100 meters race at 
the 1924 Olympic games; and his brother Sir Sydney ^Abra- 
hams also represented Britain at the Olympic Games. Harold 
Abrahams in 1969 became chairman of the British Amateur 
Athletic Board. Fanny ("Bobbie") Rosenfeld (1905-1969) in 
addition to starring in ice hockey, basketball, and softball, tied 
the women's world record for the 100-yard dash in 1925, ex- 
celled at the Olympics in 1928, and was hailed by the Canadian 
press as her country's "outstanding woman athlete of the half- 
century." Lillian *Copeland (1904-1964) was an Olympic gold 
and silver medallist, and member of U.S. Track & Field Hall 
of Fame. Deena Kastor (1973- ) won a bronze medal in the 
women's marathon at the 2004 Olympics. Marty *Glickman 
(1917-2001) was a U.S. sprinter and a track star who was pulled 
from the 1936 Berlin Olympics because he was Jewish. 

Jews were also medalists in European, British Common- 
wealth and Empire, Pan-American, and Asian Games. 

Irena *Kirszenstein-Szewinska (1946- ) of Poland won 
seven Olympic medals and ten European Championship med- 
als, and is a member of the International Women's Sports Hall 
of Fame. Faina Melnik-Velva of the U.S.S.R. won an Olympic 
gold medal in the discus throw in 1972. 

Abigail (Abby) Hoffman of Canada won a Pan-Ameri- 
can Games gold medal in the 800-meter run in 1971 and sil- 
ver and bronze medals in the 1975 Pan-American Games. In 
1974 YC. Yohanna of India won the long jump event and set 
an Asian record in the Asian Games. 

Israeli-born Boris (Dov) Djerassi won the United States 
national hammer throw in 1975 and 1978, and Ron Wayne won 
the U.S. national marathon championship in 1974. 

Svyetlana Krachevskya of the U.S.S.R. won a 1979 bronze 
medal in the World Cup and a silver medal in the 1980 Olym- 
pic Games in the shot-put. 

American Pincus (Pinky) Sober (1905-1980), was chair- 
man of the International Amateur Federation's technical 
committee and longtime Madison Square Garden track an- 

In 1992 Mel Rosen served as the U.S. men's Olympic 
coach, and Yevgeniy Krasnov of Israel placed eighth in the 
Olympic pole vault competition. 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


American Ken Flax won medals in the World Univer- 
sity Games in 1989 and 1991 (gold) and was named the ninth 
ranked hammer thrower in the world in 1991. 

In 2002, Russian-born Israeli Alex Averbach took the 
gold medal in the pole vault at the European champion- 

Fred Lebow (Ephraim Fishl Lebowitz, 1932-1994) was 
president of the New York Road Runners Club and founder 
and director of the New York Marathon and the Fifth Av- 
enue Mile. 


Jews have also had a prominent part in volleyball. Sid Nach- 
las' (1920- ) achievements brought him election to the Helms 
Volleyball Hall of Fame. Harlan Cohen (1934- ) coached the 
American women's Olympic team in 1968. Eugene Selznick 
(1930- ) is a member of the Volleyball Hall of Fame. Doug 
Beal and Israel's Arie Selinger coached the U.S. Olympic men's 
and women's teams to gold and silver medals in 1984. These 
were the first medals ever won by American teams in Olym- 
pic competition. 

In 1992, Selinger coached the Netherlands men to an 
Olympic silver medal. Selinger s son Arbital was a member 
of the Dutch team. Other Olympic Games medalists were 
Bernard Rajzman, Brazil, silver, 1984; and Dan Greenbaum, 
US, bronze, 1992. 

Water Skiing 

David Nations pioneered this sport in Great Britain. He 
founded the British Water Ski Federation in 1951 and was the 
national overall champion in 1955-56. 

Weigh t lifting 

Britain's Edward Lawrence Levy (1851-1932) was among the 
first to engage in amateur weightlifting in the 19 th century. He 
won the first English and international competitions in 1891, 
and five years later served as a weightlifting judge at the first 
modern Olympic Games. There have been many Olympic 
weightlifting medalists (see ^Olympics). Jews also engaged in 
the European, Commonwealth, Empire, and Pan-American 
Games. Oscar State (1911-1984), obe, of Great Britain orga- 
nized the weightlifting competitions at the Olympic Games 
in 1948 and 1956, and officiated at nine Olympic Games, 21 
Regional meets such as the Pan-Am, Maccabiah, Asian and 
Commonwealth Games, two World Games, 24 World Weight- 
lifting Championships, 27 World Bodybuilding Champion- 
ships, nine Mr. Olympias, 51 international bodybuilding con- 
tests and 101 international weightlifting contests, served as 
secretary of the International Weightlifting Federation, and 
is a member of the International Federation of Bodybuild- 
ing & Fitness Hall of Fame. David A. Matlin, a weightlifting 
official, served as the 33 rd president of the Amateur Athletic 
Union of the United States in 1967-68. Isaac ("Ike") Berger 
(1936- ), U.S. Olympic weightlifter, winner of gold and two 
silver Olympic medals, and a member of U.S. Weightlifters 
Hall of Fame. 

David Rigert of the U.S.S.R. won a 1976 Olympic gold 
medal in the 198-pound division. Commonwealth Games 
medalists were Terrance (Terry) Perdue, England (bronze), 
1974, and Ivan Katz, Australia (silver), 1978. 

Grigory Novak, U.S.S.R. world champion in 1946 and 
1952 Olympic silver medalist, died in 1980. 

David Lowenstein of Australia won a Commonwealth 
Games silver medal in 1986, and Giselle Shepatin and Rachel 
Silverman won silver medals for the U.S. in the Women's In- 
ternational Weightlifting Tournaments in 1985 and 1987. Allon 
Kirschner of Israel won a gold medal in the World Powerlift- 
ing Championships in 1989. 


Gal *Fridman (1975- ) was the first Israeli ever to win an 
Olympic Gold medal (2004), and the first Israeli to win two 
Olympic medals. 

Winter Sports 

In 1900-20, Cecil *Hart (1883-1940) pioneered amateur ice 
hockey in Canada. He entered the professional game in 1921 
and became a successful coach with the Montreal Canadians. 
Samuel E. Lichtenhein (1871-1936) owned the Montreal Wan- 
ders hockey team (National Hockey Association) in 1911-18. 
Americans who owned teams in the National Hockey League 
included Sidney Solomon Jr. and Sidney Solomon 111 of the 
St. Louis Blues and Edward M. Snider of the Philadelphia Fly- 
ers. In 1964 the all- Jewish Ha-Koah-Melbourne team won the 
Australian ice hockey championship. 

Louis Rubenstein of Canada introduced figure skating 
into North America in the late 1870s. He won many titles, in- 
cluding the 1890 world championship in Russia. One of the 
organizers of the 1890 world competition was Baron Wolff of 
the St. Petersburg Skating Club. Rubenstein's brothers and sis- 
ters, Moses, Abraham, and Rachel, were all champion skaters. 
Lily Kronberger of Hungary was world figure skating cham- 
pion in 1908-11. Joel Liberman (1883-1955) of the United States 
was founder of the New York Skating Club and an Olympic 
judge in 1928 and 1932. Benjamin Bagdade (1902- ) served as 
president of the American Skating Union in 1947-51 and was 
manager of the U.S. team at the 1948 Olympic Games. Irving 
*Jaffee (1906-1981) is a member of the Speed Skating Hall of 
Fame. France's Alain Calmat, world figure skating champion 
(1965), was awarded the Legion d'Honneur by President de 

Alice Damrosch Wolf Kiaer (1893-1967), a daughter 
of conductor Walter * Damrosch, organized the first United 
States women's ski team in 1935 and the following year served 
as manager of the Olympic team. Richard Rubitscek of Austria 
won a gold medal in skiing in the 1933 European Maccabiah 
games and was a founder of the Arlberg ski method. Ameri- 
can Hayley Wolff won a grand prix mogul gold medal in 1983 
and a silver medal in the first world freestyle championship 
in 1986. Baron Robert de Rothschild (1880-1946) was the 
1936 bobsledding champion of France, and in 1888 E. Cohen 
of the United States won the Grand National of Tobogganing 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



at St. Moritz, Switzerland. The Montreal Curling Club num- 
bered Canadian Jews among its members in the early 1800s. 
In 1965, Terry Braunstein skipped the Manitoba rink to the 
Canadian curling title. 


There were a large number of medalists in wrestling at the 
Olympics. Jews also won medals for wrestling in European, 
Commonwealth, Empire, and Pan-American Games. Alfred 
Brull (1876-1944) of Hungary was president of the World 
Wrestling League. 

David Pruzansky of the United States (1971) and How- 
ard Stupp of Canada (1975, 1979) won Pan-American Games 
gold medals. Keith Peache of England won a Common- 
wealth Games gold medal in 1974, and Victor Zilberman of 
the U.S.S.R. was a silver medalist at the European champion- 
ship. Zilberman later competed for Canada. 

Pan American Games medalists included Canada's Gary 
Kallos, sambo wrestling, gold, 1983; Andrew Borodow, free 
and Greco -Roman wrestling, two silvers, 1991; and also Amer- 
ican Andrew Seras, Greco- Roman wrestling, gold, 1991. Se- 
ras and Borodow competed in the Olympic Games in 1988 
and 1992. 

Ralph (Ruffy) Silverstein (1914-1980) was United States 
national collegiate champion in 1935 and Maccabiah Games 
coach in 1965. 


In 1969, Israel won its first world title in any sport when 
Zefania Carmel and Lydia Lazarov sailed to victory in the 420 
class championship. In the United States, Emil ("Bus") Mos- 
bacher, * Jr. (1922-1997), triumphed in American Cup races in 
1962 and 1967, and his brother Robert Mosbacher (1927- ) won 
the world title in the Dragon Class in 1969. Olympic medalists 
in yachting were Robert ("Buck") Halperin (1908-?), United 
States, in i960; and Valentin Mankin, U.S.S.R. in 1968 (gold). 
The Levinson brothers, Alan and Harry, won a silver medal 
for the United States in the 1967 Pan-American Games. Other 
yachtsmen included Baron Phillipe de Rothschild (1902-1988) 
and Baron Edmund de Rothschild (1845-1934), France; and 
August *Belmont (1816-1890), Mortimer L. Schiff, and Walter 
N. *Rothschild (1892-1960), United States. 

In Olympic Games competition, Valentin Mankin of the 
U.S.S.R. won gold (1972, 1980) and silver (1976) medals, and 
Daniel Cohan of the United States was a bronze medal win- 
ner in 1972. 

American helmsman Larry Klein won four world's cham- 
pionships between 1983 and 1991. He was named U.S. Yachts- 
man of the Year in 1989. 

[Jesse H. Silver /Elli Wohlgelernter (2 nd ed.)] 

bibliography: I. Abrahams, Jewish Life in the Middle Ages 
(1932 2 , repr. i960), 381-90; L. Rabinowitz, Social Life of the Jews of 
Northern France in the i2 th -i4 th Centuries (1938), 225-29; Baron, Com- 
munity, 1 (1942), 16, 197-98. B. Postal et. al. (eds.), Encyclopaedia of 
Jews in Sports (1965). add. bibliography: J.M. Siegman, Jewish 
Sports Legends (2000 3 ); R. Slater, Great Jews in Sports (rev. 2000). 

(1925-2002), Canadian theatrical and institutional architects. 
Abraham Sprachman was born in Honczarow, near the Car- 
pathian mountains between Lvov and Chernovitz. His family 
settled in Toronto when Abe was a youngster. While he was 
studying bookkeeping in secondary school, a school inspector 
noticed his artistic talents and transferred him to a program 
in architecture. In about 1919 he opened his first architectural 
office in his bedroom. When a degree in architecture became 
required in 1935, he was retroactively made a member of the 
Ontario Association of Architects and the Royal Architectural 
Institute of Canada. Sprachman lived and worked in an almost 
exclusively Yiddish world, and most of his clients were Jews. 
With architectural opportunities for Jews limited in Canada, 
he first designed homes for Jewish clients referred to him by 
a friend building an accounting firm. Just as the Depression 
began, one of these clients gave him his first theatrical com- 
mission, the Circle Theatre. Theater architecture was some- 
thing of an architectural extension of the largely Jewish movie 
business in which Jewish producers in Hollywood created the 
films that Jewish entrepreneurs exhibited in small neighbor- 
hood theaters, affectionately known as the "Nabes." Sprach- 
man and a partner, Harold Kaplan, built many substantial 
neighborhood movie houses in Canada for the Famous Play- 
ers, Loews, 20 th Century, and Premier Operating chains. Their 
most significant theaters were in the Art Deco style: the Vogue 
in Vancouver (1941) and the Eglinton in Toronto (1936), which 
was honored with the Governor General's medal. As his list of 
theater designs grew, American architects came to Toronto to 
study Sprachman's work. 

Although theaters were their most prominent contribu- 
tion to the Canadian streetscape, Kaplan and Sprachman also 
designed a number of Jewish community buildings including 
Jewish community centers in Toronto and Hamilton, the To- 
ronto Mt. Sinai Hospital, the Baycrest Home for the Aged in 
Toronto, and several synagogues in Toronto and across west- 
ern Canada. 

Abe's son, Mandel, also became an architect known for 
his theater designs, albeit in a much changed Canada. Mandel 
was a child of the movies. He had spent his childhood in his 
father's movie theaters and at building sites doodling at the 
drawing board. In 1951 he translated his love of theater and 
screenwriting into a degree in architecture from the University 
of Toronto. After graduating, Mandel worked in Sweden, then 
in his father's office before opening his own firm in 1958. Like 
his father, Mandel designed movie houses that reflected the 
tastes of his times. Among his innovations were the first multi- 
plexes, incorporating several screening rooms in one building 
and using televisions in the lobbies to promote the films. 

Mandel was a striking man, known for his bowties and 
lapel pansies. Like his father, Mandel designed a number of 
striking synagogues in Ontario. His crowning achievement 
was his successful struggle to restore the 1913 Elgin Winter- 
garden Theatre in Toronto. One of the few remaining "double- 
decker" or stacked Edwardian theaters in the world, the Elgin 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


Wintergarden had been the flagship of the Loew s chain of 
vaudeville theaters. Under Mandel's direction, it was pains- 
takingly restored with added backstage and lobby areas. It re- 
opened in 1989 and was soon a Toronto landmark. 

[Paula Draper (2 nd ed.)] 

°SPRINGER, AXEL CAESAR (1912-1985), German pub- 
lisher. Born in Altona/Hamburg. As he was unfit for war ser- 
vices, he did not fight as a soldier in the German Wehrmacht 
during World War 11. Until 1941 Springer was editor in his 
fathers newspaper Altonaer Nachrichten y whose publication 
was stopped due to a Nazi order. After the war he first started 
as a book publisher, but soon after that he founded many 
popular German magazines and newspapers. With the daily 
newspaper Bild Springer reached his greatest success, though 
critics complained about the one-sided conservative political 
opinions spread by this tabloid and a lack of serious journal- 
ism. In 1967, Springer postulated as the four main goals to 
which every editor of the Springer Press had to subscribe: The 
engagement for the German re-unification in freedom and 
in a united Europe, the reconciliation between Germans and 
Jews as well as the defense of the rights of the Israeli people, 
the rejection of political totalitarianism, and the defense of the 
free social market economy. In addition, the Springer Press 
always demonstrated sympathy and solidarity for American 
politics, particularly during the Vietnam War. As a non-Jew, 
Springer was a known friend of the Jewish People and Israel. 
This fact irritated many left-wing critics, who viewed in the 
the conservative Springer Press their main enemy. During the 
student protests in the 1960s, Bild condemned the protesters 
and many critics accused Bild of "heating- up" the atmosphere. 
In 1972 the Springer Publishing House in Berlin was the target 
of a bomb attack carried out by leftist extremists. 

Springer gave substantial donations to Israel and Jew- 
ish organizations, e.g., for the library of the Israel Museum 
in Jerusalem (1966) and the Leo Baeck Institute in New York 
(1963). In 1968, Springer endowed $250,000 for the establish- 
ment of the Ottilie Springer Chair at Brandeis University. 
As a result of his social and political engagement Springer 
was honored with numerous awards, such as the Leo Baeck 
Medal (1978), and honorary doctorates from Temple Univer- 
sity in Philadelphia (1971), Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan 
(1974), and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1976). In 1983, 
Springer was awarded the title "neeman Yerushalayim" (pre- 
server of Jerusalem). In 1984, he received the gold medal of 
the Israeli Association of Daily Paper Publishers and in 1985 
the gold medal of the B'nai B'rith League. Moreover, Springer 
was an honorary member of the Weizmann Institute of Sci- 
ences in Rehovot, Israel. 

In 1972, Springer published a collection of his speeches 
and essays: Von Berlin aus gesehen. Zeugnisse eines engagi- 
erten Deutschen. 

bibliography: Axel- Springer- Verlag(ecL), The Axel Springer- 
Group's Commitment to Israel (2001); E. Cramer, A. Springer, "Israel 
und die Juden," in: A. Nachama et al (eds.), Aufbau nach dem Unter- 

gang. Deutsch-judische Geschichte nach 1945 (1992), 347-56; G. Kruip, 
Das "Welt"-"Bild" des Axel Springer-Verlags. Journalismus zwischen 
westlichen Werten und Deutschen Denktraditionen (1999). 

[Monika Halbinger (2 nd ed.)] 

SPRINGFIELD, city in Massachusetts. As of 2005, Springfield 
and its suburbs had a total population of 251,000, including 
an estimated 10,000 Jews, a figure largely unchanged in the 
past quarter-century Jews did not begin to settle in Spring- 
field in large numbers until the East European immigration 
of the 1880s, though individual Jews were recorded in the 
city previously, among them Leopold Karpeles (1838-1909), a 
Congressional Medal of Honor winner in the Civil War who 
lived in Springfield before the war. The first synagogues - B'nai 
Jacob and Beth Israel - were organized in 1891-92, and within 
a decade five other Orthodox congregations were established 
to serve the rapidly growing community, whose numbers 
increased from about 300 to 3,000 between 1901 and 1907 
alone, ymha was organized in 1905 and a Jewish Home for 
the Aged in 1912. One of the first local Jews to attain promi- 
nence in these years was the Lithuanian-born Henry Lasker 
(1878-1953), the first local Jew to be admitted to the bar and 
who between 1908 and 1916 was first elected alderman and 
then president of the city council. Lasker was a leader of B'nai 
B'rith and many other Jewish and civic organizations. Two 
other prominent Jews were the Russian immigrants Moses 
Ehrlich, who had a successful scrap-iron business and Ra- 
phael Sagalyn (1881-1949), a successful wholesale dry goods 
and real estate businessman. Ehrlich was a prime initiator 
and first president of Congregation Kodimoh; Sagalyn was 
founder of the United Hebrew Schools and president of its 
board of directors. 

Following the restrictive immigration laws of the 1920s, 
the Jewish population of Springfield ceased its rapid growth 
but institutional life continued to develop. In 1921, the first 
Conservative synagogue, Congregation Beth El, was founded, 
and in 1932 a Reform congregation, Sinai Temple. The Jewish 
Community Council (predecessor to the Jewish Federation of 
Greater Springfield) was established in 1925, and the Jewish 
Social Service Bureau was established in 1927. In 1966, eight 
synagogues and temples were in existence in Greater Spring- 
field, five Orthodox, two Conservative, and one Reform. The 
initial settlement took place in the city's older residential areas, 
primarily the North End area. After World War 11, both the 
newer urban areas and the suburb of Longmeadow became 
increasingly popular. By 1966, only 5% of Greater Springfield's 
Jews still lived in the older area of settlement, while 60% lived 
in the newer urban areas. Of the 35% who resided in the sub- 
urbs, all but 3% were in Longmeadow, which adjoins the larg- 
est of the newer urban areas within Springfield proper, For- 
est Park. Accordingly, three of the largest Jewish institutions 
in the city, Temple Sinai, Congregation Beth El, and the Jew- 
ish Community Center, are all located near each other on the 
Longmeadow - Forest Park line, with two other synagogues 
remaining in Forest Park. 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



High educational achievement and occupational affili- 
ation characterized the Jewish community in the late 1960s. 
Among adults, 40% had had at least some college education. 
One-fourth were engaged in professional work and 40% were 
managers or proprietors. An additional 27% were employed as 
clerical or sales workers; only 8% of the Jews were blue collar 
workers. Almost 80% of the Jews of Springfield were affiliated 
with a congregation; slightly more persons were members of 
Orthodox synagogues (41%) than of Conservative congrega- 
tions (39%), and 20% belonged to the Reform Temple. Part- 
time religious schools were affiliated with the various syna- 
gogues, and there were the community- wide United Hebrew 
School and two day schools, the Heritage Academy and the 
Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy. Two- thirds of all children be- 
tween 5 and 14 years of age were enrolled in some program 
of Jewish education. 

At the turn of the twenty-first century, a different picture 
has emerged, consistent with demographic trends throughout 
the country. Springfield's Jewish affiliation rate is now approxi- 
mately the same as the national average of just above 40%. Al- 
though Springfield's Jewish community remains highly edu- 
cated, much of the population is engaged in the professions 
(medicine, law, etc.), with very few proprietors and entrepre- 
neurs. The Jewish population is increasingly older, with a small 
number of young families continuing to move to the area. In 
2005, Springfield/Longmeadow had two day schools (Heritage 
Academy, Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy) and six synagogues: 
three Orthodox (Congregation Kodimoh, Kesser Israel, and 
Beth Israel), two Conservative (Beth El and B'nai Jacob), and 
one Reform (Sinai Temple). 

The Jewish community has grown significantly in the 
area just north of Springfield to the Vermont border. The 
communities of Northampton and Amherst, in particular, 
have witnessed significant Jewish growth, with approximately 
5,000 Jews in these communities. Home to the University of 
Massachusetts, Amherst College, Smith College and others, 
the area attracts many academics, artists, and young profes- 
sionals from larger cities. In 2005, the Upper Pioneer Valley 
boasted four synagogues, two of them with several hundred 
families. There are two Conservative synagogues (B'nai Israel, 
Northampton; Temple Israel, Greenfield), one Reform (Beit 
Ahavah, Northampton), and one Reconstructionist (Jewish 
Community of Amherst). Founded in the 1990s, the Solo- 
mon Schechter School of the Pioneer Valley has opened its 
doors to 100 students. 

A variety of organizations and services continue to cater 
to the needs of the community. The Springfield Jewish Com- 
munity Center traces its origins to the ymha. The Jewish com- 
munity supports a wide range of Zionist and fraternal orga- 
nizations, with a strong Federation and an active Hadassah 
chapter, as well as many groups under temple auspices. The 
community is also the home of the Harold Grinspoon Foun- 
dation. Among notable members of the Springfield Jewish 
community are Frank Freedman, mayor, elected in 1967; Alan 
Sisitsky, state representative, elected in 1968; Paul Akerman, 

city councilman; Joel Levitt, president of the Springfield Jew- 
ish Federation (founded in 1938) and president of the Spring- 
field Sugar Company; Irving Geisser, executive director of 
the federation and a member of the executive committee of 
the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council; 
Charles Nirenberg, Founder of Dairy Mart; and Harold Grin- 
spoon, nationally recognized philanthropist and founder of 
Aspen Square Management. 

[Sidney Goldstein / Harold Berman (2 nd ed.)] 

SPRINZAK, JOSEPH (1885-1959), Israeli labor leader and 
first speaker of the Knesset, member of the First to Third Knes- 
sets. Sprinzak was born in Moscow. His father, a manufacturer, 
was a member of Hovevei Zion and was active in Jewish com- 
munity affairs. In 1891, when the Jews were expelled from Mos- 
cow, Sprinzak's family moved to Kishinev and then to War- 
saw. Their home was a center for young Hebrew writers and 
active Zionists. In 1903, Sprinzak took part in organizing the 
Zionist group Ha-Tehiyyah, led by Yitzhak *Gruenbaum. In 
Warsaw he worked for a while in the Hebrew publishing house 
Ahi'asaf, and wrote for Hebrew and Yiddish newspapers. In 
1905 he returned to Kishinev, where he was a cofounder of 
the *Ze'irei Zion movement in Southern Russia, and in 1906 
he participated as its delegate at the *Helsingfors Conference 
of Russian Zionists, after having formulated the Ze'irei Zion 
program together with Haim * Greenberg. 

In 1908, after spending several months in Constanti- 
nople, where he was in touch with various Zionist leaders, 
including David *Wolffsohn, Menahem *Ussishkin, Nahum 
*Sokolow, and Vladimir *Jabotinsky, in an attempt to influence 
the new regime of the Young Turks, Sprinzak went to study 
medicine at the American University in Beirut. However, in 
1910 he was asked by Ha-Po'el ha-Za'ir to discontinue his stud- 
ies, and become the party's secretary in Palestine. Inter alia, he 
was active in the absorption of the immigrants from Yemen. At 
the 11 th Zionist Congress in Vienna in 1913, Sprinzak organized 
a faction of 41 delegates, consisting of members of Ha-Po'el 
ha-Za'ir and Ze'irei Zion. During World War 1 he remained 
in Palestine and was instrumental in organizing help for the 
yishuv in general and the Jewish workers in particular. After 
the war he took part in creating the framework of the world 
movement *Hitahadut, which encompassed Ha-Po'el ha-Za'ir 
and Ze'irei Zion. At its founding conference in Prague in 1920, 
together with Aharon David ^Gordon, Hugo Bergmann, and 
Eli'ezer * Kaplan, he was the moving spirit of the Ha-Po'el ha- 
Za'ir delegation from Palestine. Chairing the conference's 
meetings, he summed up its deliberations. At the 11 th Zionist 
Congress in Carlsbad in 1921, he was the first representative of 
the labor movement in Erez Israel to be elected to the Zionist 
Executive. For seven years he served on the Executive as head 
of the Labor Department and later of the Aliyah Department 
as well. In the 1920s, Sprinzak was a co-founder and leading 
member of the *Histadrut, a member of the Tel Aviv munici- 
pality, and played an active role in the establishment of Asefat 
ha-Nivharim and the Va'ad Le'ummi, and in the formation of 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


*Mapai through the merger of *Ahdut ha-Avodah and Ha-Po'el 
ha-Za'ir. In 1942-59, he served as chairman of the presidium 
of the Zionist Executive, and in 1944-49 served as the secre- 
tary general of the Histadrut. 

After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, he 
was elected to chair the Provisional State Council. He was 
elected to the three first Knessets on behalf of Mapai, and 
served as Knesset speaker from 1949 until his death in 1959. 
As the Knesset s first speaker, he played a major role in mold- 
ing the written and unwritten rules of Israel's parliamentary 
life. Sprinzak oversaw the competition for the planning of the 
new Knesset building at Givat Ram, but its construction began 
only after his death. His friendly, warm, and moderate char- 
acter endeared him to both Israeli citizens and Jews abroad. 
His sense of humor and sensitivity enabled him to overcome 
conflicts. He favored a form of humanist, social-democratic 
Zionism, which regarded the process of national regeneration 
as an evolutionary one in which the workers were to play a 
major role in both urban and rural settlements. 

Sprinzak's son Ya'ir was a scientist who worked at the 
Weizmann Institute, and was a member of the 12 th Knesset 
on behalf of Moledet. 

Among his writings are Bein ha-Teimanim ("Among the 
Yemenites," 1918); Bi-Khetav u-be-al Peh, a collection of arti- 
cles and speeches (1952); and Yosef Shapira (ed.), Iggerot Yosef 
Sprinzak, a collection of letters (1965-69). 

[Susan Hattis Rolef (2 nd ed.)] 

SQUADRON, HOWARD MAURICE (1926-2002), Ameri- 
can Jewish communal leader. Squadron was born in New York 
City and graduated in law from Columbia University, where 
he was an editor of the Columbia Law Review. After teaching 
at the University of Chicago, he practiced law in New York, 
and after spending two years as staff counsel for the Ameri- 
can Jewish Congress, he reentered private practice in 1954. He 
ultimately became the senior partner at Squadron, Ellenoff, 
Plesen & Sheinfeld. 

Active in the American Jewish Congress for 25 years, and 
serving as its senior vice president, chairman of the National 
Governing Council, chairman of the national Commission on 
Law and Social Action, and chairman of the Congress's New 
York Metropolitan Council, he was elected president in 1978, 
retaining the position until 1984. In that capacity, he helped 
spearhead an assembly of mayors from around the world 
held annually in Jerusalem. At the 1999 conclave, Squadron 
was awarded the Guardian of the City of Jerusalem Medal. 
Squadron was an active participant in the America- Israel "Di- 
alogue," an annual symposium conducted by the American 
Jewish Congress in Jerusalem. From 1980 to 1982 he served as 
chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American 
Jewish Organizations. 

Active in the cultural life of New York City, Squadron 
was chairman of the executive committee of the Foundation 
for Joffrey Ballet, Inc., as well as of the Fifty- fifth Street Dance 
Theater Foundation. 

SQUILL (Heb. 2"$T\ y hazav (mish.) or 21211, hazuv), the Urginea 
maritima, a plant with a very large bulb that grows wild in al- 
most every district of Israel. It lies dormant in the summer, 
its leaves withering, but later a stalk with a large inflorescence 
bearing hundreds of flowers bursts out of the bulb. The roots 
are very long and descend vertically into the earth as if dig- 
ging into it, and some connect its name (hazav; "to dig") with 
this characteristic. Because of this the squill was sometimes 
used for demarcating fields (cf. bb 55a). According to tradition 
Joshua marked out with it the boundaries of Israel and of the 
tribes (tj, Pe'ah 2:1, i6d). It was said that "the squill cripples 
the wicked" (Bezah 25b), because it prevents them from re- 
moving the boundaries. The rind of its bulb is juicy and was 
used by some for implanting fig shoots (Kil. 1:8; so too Theo- 
phrastus, Historia Plantarum y 2:5, 5). Its leaves and bulb con- 
tain poisonous matter and few animals eat it. According to the 
baraita (Shab. 128a) it was eaten by gazelles and Noah prepared 
"squills for the gazelles" (Gen. R. 31:14) in the ark. 

bibliography: Loew, Flora, 2 (1924), 188-94; E. and H. Ha- 
Reubeni, He-Hazav (1938); J. Feliks, Kilei Zera'im ve-Harkavah (1967), 
161-2; H.L. Ginsberg, Kohelet (1961), 131-2; idem, Five Megilloth and 
Jonah (1969), 77. add. bibliography: Feliks, Ha-Zomeah, 68. 

[Jehuda Feliks] 

SRAFFA, PIERO (1898-1983), British economist. Sraffa was 
born in Turin, Italy, the son of a professor of law. He became a 
professor of economics at the University of Caligari, Sardinia, 
at the age of 28 but was forced to flee to Britain the following 
year after his writings offended Mussolini. Sraffa spent the rest 
of his life at Cambridge University, where he served as Mar- 
shall Librarian, fellow of Trinity College, and reader in eco- 
nomics. Sraffa developed a legendary reputation as one of the 
great theoretical innovators in 20 th -century economics, origi- 
nating the theory of imperfect competition and making sig- 
nificant and influential contributions to the orthodox theory 
of value. He wrote little, but some of his ideas appeared in his 
Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities (i960). 
He is equally well known for his co-editing of 11 volumes of 
the correspondence of David *Ricardo, published in 1951-73, 
regarded as one of the great works in the history of econom- 
ics. Sraffa also exerted a strong influence on many of the lead- 
ing intellectual figures of his time and is credited with helping 
Ludwig * Wittgenstein move away from his earlier logical posi- 
tivism to his later orientation towards linguistic analysis. 

bibliography: odnb online. 

[William D. Rubinstein (2 nd ed.)] 

SREM (Ger. Schrimm; Pol. Szrem; Yid. Strim), town in 
Poznan province, W. Poland. Jews settled in Srem in the late 
16 th century and engaged in commerce, weaving, and gold- 
smithery In 1656, during the war between Poland and Swe- 
den, the Polish general S. Czarniecki persecuted the Jews of 
Srem, and those who survived left the town. In the 1670s Jews 
resettled in Srem and a community was organized. In 1683 a 
meeting of the council of the galil (province) of Poznan (see 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



^Council of the Lands) took place there. In the 18 th century 
Srem Jews engaged in the trade of agricultural products, tai- 
loring, shoemaking, and liquor production. In 1765 the Jewish 
community numbered 327. In the mid-i8 th century Samuel b. 
Azriel of Landsburg was the rabbi of Srem. From 1815, under 
Prussian rule, the Jewish population increased, numbering 
924 (27% of the total) in 1840 and 1,127 ( 1 9%) m 1871. The Jews 
were engaged mostly in the building trade, tailoring, transpor- 
tation, and shopkeeping. In the late 1870s many Jews left for 
Poznan and other cities in central Germany. In 1895 only 607 
Jews were left (11%), and this number decreased to 318 (4.5%) 
by 1910. In the early 20 th century the Srem community main- 
tained charitable institutions and an association for Jewish 
historical and literary research. In 1921, in independent Po- 
land, there were 103 Jews (1.5%) there. 

[Arthur Cygielman] 

Holocaust Period 

Before World War 11 there were 26 Jews in Srem. Under Ger- 
man occupation, it belonged to the Regierungsbezirk Posen 
of the Warthegau. In October 1939 the Jews were deported to a 
transit camp in Poznan, from where they were probably sent to 
the General Government or to a larger town in Warthegau. 

[Danuta Dombrowska] 

bibliography: Halpern, Pinkas, index; B. Wasiutyriski, 
Ludnosc zydowska w Polsce w wiekach xix i xx (1930), 167; A. Hep- 
pner and J. Herzberg, Aus Vergangenheit und Gegenwart der Juden 
und der Juedischen Gemeinden in den Posener Landen (1909-29), in- 
dex; D. Lewin, Judenverfolgungen im zweiten Schwedisch-polnischen 
Kriege (1901), 28, 31. 

SS AND SD (ss - Schutzstaffeln, "Protection Squad"; sd - 
Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsfuehrers ss, "Security Service 
of the Reichsfuehrer ss"), Nazi order that executed the "*Fi- 
nal Solution" (see also ^Holocaust: General Survey) and other 
acts of mass and individual terror committed by the Nazis in 
Europe. The organization from its inception was connected 
with the idea of the "security" of the leader, and grew up as a 
racial elite formation around the myth of *Hitler the Fuehrer 
and his "mission." 

The ss was originally a select group of bodyguards 
charged with protecting Hitler and the Nazi elite. It was set 
apart from other Nazi organizations by its distinctive black 
shirts, and eventually adopted the insignia of the death's- 
head. Its first leader was Jules Schreck, a personal body guard 
and chauffeur to Hitler. Other local party groups established 
similar means of protection, which were used not only defen- 
sively but offensively. The ss participated in the 1923 Munich 
Putsch and was outlawed together with the Nazi Party for a 
short time afterward. 

In 1929, Heinrich *Himmler was appointed Reichsfueh- 
rer-ss (rfss), and as the party expanded he transformed the 
ss into a racial elite formation. From several hundred mem- 
bers in 1929, it expanded to some 50,000 by 1932 before Hit- 
ler came to power. In 1931, two years before the Nazis came 
to power, Himmler set up an intelligence service exclusively 

for the ss, headed by Reinhard *Heydrich: the Sicherheitsdi- 
enst (sd). The sd assisted in keeping an eye on deviators in 
the party, but at the time the Nazis rose to power it was still 
only a skeleton organization. He also established the Race and 
Settlement Office (rIisha) to protect the racial purity of the 
ss. Special emphasis was placed on loyalty and disciplined ap- 
pearance in uniforms, and racial criteria were established for 
membership, including an Aryan appearance and a registry 
of ancestors, including those of wives. The ss attracted and 
recruited people of a higher social class than the sa (storm 
troops). The ss was divided along military lines model into 
platoons, companies, and regiments. Its distinctive black uni- 
form was first used in 1932. 

When Hitler took power, Himmler began to attain con- 
trol over all the internal security organs of Germany. Within 
a year the ss increased fourfold and Himmler consolidated 
his power. Beginning as the commander of the Bavarian po- 
litical police, he soon took over the political police of other 
German states, and in 1934 the *Gestapo, the secret political 
police of Prussia. In 1934, the ss led the assault against Ernst 
Rohm and the sa and destroyed it decisively. In July 1934 after 
the assault, the ss became independent of the sd within the 
party. Afterwards there were no potential rivals to its power 
and its status rose. 

The ss, the political police, and the concentration camps 
acted as a three -fold system devised to shadow the enemies of 
the regime and intern or destroy them politically or physically. 
Of particular importance was the vesting of the authority over 
concentration camps in the ss system and not subordinated to 
government authority, thus constituting what became known 
as the ss-state. In the process of differentiation of special tasks 
of the ss, special units were established, such as ss Totenkop- 
fverbaende (Deaths Head Units) to guard the concentration 
camps and ss Verfuegungstruppe, which served as a nucleus 
of the armed (Waffen) ss. 

In 1936, Himmler became head of the entire German po- 
lice, as the Reichsfuhrer ss and Chef der Deutschen Polizei im 
Ministerium des Innern. Himmler created a series of homes 
for wives of the ss men and single mothers to breed the mas- 
ter race - Lebensborn, the Well of Life. The Ancestral Heri- 
tage Society tried to document the superiority of the master 
race. The ss was envisioned by Himmler as the paradigm of 
the master race, the core of its future development. 

Until World War 11 

By the time World War 11 broke out (1939), the ss numbered 
hundreds of thousands of members and millions of helpers. 
The duplication and competitiveness of the departments in 
the complicated, vast ss administration were intentional. To 
control the administration of both state and party functions, 
Himmler set up a field organization of ss and higher police 
leaders (Hoehere ss - und Polizeifuehrer - hsspf). A nucleus 
of ss men engaged in work abroad, including intelligence work 
against future victims of Germany, and, last but not least, the 
"mobile killing units" (the Einsatzgruppen), which followed 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


along with the Wehrmacht to the occupied countries to deal 
with "internal security matters." 

Some ambitious younger men, including Adolf *Eich- 
mann, Dieter Wisliceny, and Herbert Hagen, became experts 
in the Jewish question. Section 11/112 of the sd began dealing 
with classifying world Jewry and its institutions according to 
the German organizational tables, studied Jewish literature 
and newspapers, and spied on Jewish leaders and organiza- 
tions, in the full belief that the Jews had a worldwide intel- 
ligence service. The sd also began pressing to speed up Jew- 
ish emigration by all means and sought to work out practical 
ways to do so. One suggestion was to incite and organize riots 
such as the *Kristallnacht y carried out two years later. The an- 
nexation of Austria in March 1938 permitted the sd executive 
initiative to establish (through Eichmann) the *Zentralstelle 
flier juedische Auswanderung in Vienna, the first compulsory 
Jewish emigration center. Eichmann personally supervised the 
registration of Jews and expropriation of their property prior 
to their emigration. This first initiative led to the establishment 
of similar offices in the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia and 
in Germany itself. Eichmann headed the centers, and the di- 
rector of the Gestapo, Heinrich *Mueller, acted as the chief 
supervisor. Thus the sd became an executive arm alongside 
the Gestapo, and finally the two authorities, the sd and the 
Gestapo, were united under the ss reorganization scheme in 
November 1939. 

The ss organization now split up into main offices 
(Hauptaemter), among which the most important were the 
*rsha - Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshaupt- 
amt); wvha - Main Office for Economy and Administration 
(Wirtschafts-und Verwaltungshauptamt); and rush a - Main 
Office for Race and Settlement (Rasseund Siedlungshauptamt). 
The rsha, which was essentially a combination of the security 
police and the sd, was given charge over internal security, the 
liquidation of enemies in the first stages of conquest by the 
Germans, and the dispatch of prisoners to camps. The prison- 
ers were subordinate to the wvha, on a combined ideologi- 
cal and "economic" base. The wvha exploited the prisoners 
in the giant ss enterprises and in private German enterprises, 
while life in the camps and the work itself were functionally 
organized to bring about the physical "neutralization" or deci- 
mation of many of them. The wvha also carried out pseudo- 
medical experiments on human beings on orders given by "sci- 
entific and research" institutes of the ss and by Himmler, who 
wished to establish proofs for his racial concepts. 

With the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, 
the ss attained almost sole responsibility for the Jews of Po- 
land. The security police and sd, together with the regular po- 
lice, interned the Jews in ghettos, deprived them of all their 
means, and starved them. To reduce all the Jews to the same 
level in the uniform repression scheme, * Judenraete were set 
up to assume direct and personal collective responsibility for 
the Jews, with the German authorities in charge. In the rsha, 
several suggestions for a radical "Solution of the Jewish Ques- 
tion" were made during 1940, including the concentration of 

Jews in a "reservation" in Poland or their dispatch to Mada- 
gascar (see ^Madagascar Plan). Historians have come to view 
local initiatives to deal with the local problem of Jews as an 
essential component of what later developed into the "Final 
Solution." Many emphasize the functionalist approach, with 
the destruction of Jews being a priority in solving a local prob- 
lem, the apparatus of destruction evolving locally before being 
centralized and implemented throughout the German-con- 
trolled areas. Meanwhile, the invasion of Soviet Russia was 
in the offing. It commenced on June 22, 1941. Hitler decided 
that in the final stage of the "struggle for the vast Lebensraum 
in the East," the Jews of Russia and the Baltic states along 
with gypsies and Soviet commissars should be murdered by 
ss Einsatzgruppen with the cooperation of the army and the 
civil occupying administration. The Einsatzgruppen were di- 
vided into Einsatzkommandos (assault commando units) and 
Sonderkommandos (special commando units). 

The "Final Solution." 

The killing of Jews evolved in stages. First the mobile killing 
units, the Einsatzgruppen, went into towns and villages cap- 
tured by the Wehrmacht and alone or together with local gen- 
darmeries, and native antisemites assembled the Jews, confis- 
cated their possessions, and murdered them one by one, town 
by town, village by village. After the murder of several hun- 
dred thousand Jews in the East by execution, gas vans were 
developed by the ss personnel on the ground, using retrofitted 
trucks. Many of these initiatives were taken locally, but this 
process proved to be too public, disquieting for inhabitants 
of conquered territories, and psychologically difficult for the 
killers. Thus a new mode of achieving the "Final Solution" (a 
camouflage term - see *Nazi-Deutsch) of the "Jewish Ques- 
tion" in all of Europe was initiated. The rsha, with Eichmann 
as its Jewish expert and Mueller as the chief executor, was in 
charge of the dispatch of Jews to the death camps. The extermi- 
nation centers differed from the older concentration camps as 
the former were constructed to deal with the immediate mass 
murder of the arrivals under the direction of the wvha. A gi- 
gantic network was organized for the mass-scale plundering of 
property and possessions of the murdered, and for exploiting 
the victims' clothing, hair, and gold teeth. Not infrequently, 
concentration camps were set up alongside the death camps 
for exploiting the condemned for slave labor until the inmates, 
suffering from starvation and maltreatment, were "selected" 
for the gas chambers for automatized murder run by the ss 
technicians. Through its various agents, of which the ss was 
chief, the German occupiers compelled the various Judenraete 
in the ghettos to supply them with batches of victims for the 
death chambers and, until the ghettos' liquidation, with slave 
laborers for German industry. Throughout, the goal of utiliz- 
ing Jewish labor by economic arms of the ss was at odds with 
the overriding goal of the "Final Solution" - the killing of the 
Jews. Dead Jews could not work. The ghettos were steadily re- 
duced, until the final liquidation of all their inhabitants at the 
end of 1943 (with Lodz, the most notable exception). The use 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



of camouflaged language and the dispatch of Jews in varying 
stages and by different bodies - sometimes by the rsh a and 
sometimes by the security police commanders (all of which 
were part of the ss and served one aim) - helped to keep in 
check any possible revolt or resistance by the Jews. In the 
Western countries and satellite states of the Reich, the ss main- 
tained experts whose task was to dispatch the Jews. 

The organizational principles that aided Himmler in his 
first steps turned the ss finally into a monster organization 
with millions of officials and soldiers with thousands of mul- 
tiple and duplicate functions. In 1943 Himmler, the Reichs- 
fuehrer ss, also became minister of the interior of the Reich, 
and in 1944 he drafted many foreigners to the legions of the 
Waffen-ss, including members of those considered by Nazi 
ideology to be of "inferior races." The attempts in 1939-41 of 
the ss to solve by mass extermination such problems as the 
existence of mentally ill and retarded children in German 
society, or its war against the churches, failed largely due to 
protests among the German public. But the murder of Jews, 
gypsies, Soviet prisoners of war, and members of "inferior peo- 
ples" was carried out without inhibition and virtually without 
protest. At the end of 1944, Himmler, as commander of the 
reserves and battlefront, retreated from the "Final Solution." 
He apparently still believed that the Jews under his control 
could be used as a bargaining chip to divide the Allies and 
forge a separate peace with the United States and Great Britain 
against the Soviet Union. He presumed that the Allies would 
accept his ss organization as an instrument of order and se- 
curity in Germany. However, the Allies condemned the ss at 
the Nuremburg trials as a criminal organization and sentenced 
some of its heads to death. Many others were sentenced to se- 
vere punishments, but received amnesty. From the 1960s, the 
German judiciary dealt with the subsidiary organizations of 
the ss in a series of trials. 

bibliography: G. Reitlinger, ss, Alibi of a Nation (1956); H. 
Hoehne, The Order of Death's Head: The Story of Hitler s ss (1969); 
H. Krausnick, et al., Anatomy of the ss State (1968); S. Aronson, 
Reinhard Heydrich und die Fruehgeschichte von Gestapo und sd (1970); 
E. Neusuess-Hunkel, Die ss (1956); L. Stein, Die Waffen-ss (1965); E. 
Kogon, The Theory and Practice of Hell (i960 2 ); A. Bullock, Hitler, a 
Study in Tyranny (1962 2 ), index, add. bibliography: R. Hilberg, 
Destruction of the European Jews (1961, 1985, 2003). 

[Shlomo Aronson / Michael Berenbaum (2 nd ed.)] 

STACHEL, JACOB (Jack; 1900-1966), U.S. Communist 
leader. Stachel, born in Galicia, was taken by his family to 
New York City in 1911. He became active in the Socialist Party 
Youth and in 1924 joined the Communist Party. By 1927 Sta- 
chel headed the party's national organizational secretariat, 
and in 1933 he became director of its Trade Union Educa- 
tional League. His main geographical area of responsibility in 
the 1930s was Michigan, where he staged a demonstration of 
100,000 unemployed workers in Detroit in 1930 and pressed 
for Communist Party support of the Congress of Industrial 
Organizations (cio) when it was founded in 1936. In 1939 Sta- 

chel was made executive secretary of the party's central exec- 
utive committee, giving him much power behind the scenes 
until his indictment under the Smith Act in 1950, along with 
ten other party leaders, for advocating the violent overthrow 
of the United States government. After serving a five-year 
term in a federal penitentiary Stachel remained active in the 
party until his death. 

bibliography: New York Times (Jan. 2, 1966), 73; M. Epstein, 
Jew and Communism (1959), 405-7. 

STADTHAGEN, JOSEPH (d. 1715), German rabbi. One of 
a venerable line of rabbis, he was born in Metz and was Lan- 
desrabbiner of Schaumburg-Lippe for many years, taking his 
name from his home in Stadthagen. An acknowledged rabbin- 
ical authority (author of Divrei Zikkaron y Amsterdam, 1705), 
with a thorough knowledge of the New Testament and apolo- 
getic works, he participated in several religious disputations. 
In July 1704 he was called upon by Leffman *Behrend, the 
powerful Hanoverian *Court Jew, to accept the challenge of an 
apostate, who had been making the rounds of Jewish commu- 
nities, challenging the scholars to disputations and blackmail- 
ing them into paying him to desist. The disputation was held 
in the presence of the elector of Hanover, the future George I 
of England, and his court. Stadthagen deftly refuted the stock 
charges of the apostate, gained the sympathy of the tolerant 
court, and established his intellectual and moral superior- 
ity. He made a vivid impression on the electress Sophie who 
parted from him with the words, "We all have but one God." 
The debate was transcribed by Stadthagen in Hebrew and Yid- 
dish in his Minhat Zikkaron, which was edited, translated, and 
published by A. Berliner, Religionsgespraech (1914). 

bibliography: D. Kaufmann, in: rej, 22 (1891), 98f.; J. 
Rosenthal, in: Aresheth, 2 (i960), 159. 

STAHL, FRIEDRICH JULIUS (1802-1861), German con- 
servative politician and political thinker. Born Julius Jolson in 
Wuerzburg, Bavaria, he grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family, 
but converted to Lutheranism in 1819, seemingly more out of 
inner conviction than in order to obtain a government post in 
a Catholic country. Stahl studied law at various Bavarian uni- 
versities and was prominent in the Burschenschaften move- 
ment (see ^Student Fraternities, German). After his doctorate 
and a first position in Munich, he became a professor of law 
in Erlangen and Wuerzburg. During this time, he completed 
his two main works Die Philosophie des Rechts nach Geschicht- 
licher Ansicht (2 vols., 1830-37), a historical view of the phi- 
losophy of law based on Christian theology, and Die Kirchen- 
verfassung nach Lehre und Recht der Protestanten (1840), an 
important contribution to the debate about the structure of 
the Protestant church. 

In 1840 Stahl succeeded Edward *Gans as professor of 
law at the University of Berlin where his lectures attracted 
widespread attention. He expounded his conservative opin- 
ions on contemporary politics in his lectures and published a 
series of pamphlets calling for the mobilization of the Chris- 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


tian state against liberalism and republicanism. Following the 
suppression of the 1848 revolution, he was made a member of 
the Prussian Upper House and gained considerable political 
influence at the court of Friedrich Wilhelm iv. While his po- 
litical ideas have frequently been described as extreme and re- 
actionary, it is now evident how important Stahl's contribution 
was for the modernization of German conservative thought, 
including the acceptance of constitutionalism. 

Stahl rejected the full emancipation of the Jews and es- 
pecially defended the exclusion of non- Christians from state 
functions. As a zealous and rhetorically gifted defender of tra- 
ditional rights, justice and order, his views were approved of by 
*Bismarck and *Treitschke who were, nevertheless, troubled, 
as were his contemporaries, by the figure of a former Jew from 
Catholic Bavaria, forging the ideology of Prussian Lutheran 
conservatism. Stahl's philosophy was later repudiated by the 
Nazis as an expression of Jewish theocracy. 

bibliography: R.A. Kann, in: ylbi, 12 (1967), 55-74; E. Ham- 
burger, Juden im oeffentlichen Leben Deutschlands (1968), 197-209 and 
index, add. bibliography: W. Bussmann, in: M. Greschat (ed.), 
Gestalten der Kirchengeschichte (1985), 325-43; W. Fuessl, Professor in 
der Politik: Friedrich Julius Stahl (1802-1861) (1988); C. Link, in: H. 
Heinrichs (ed.), Deutsche Juristen Judischer Herkunft (1993), 59-83; 
J.B. Mueller, in: H.C. Kraus (ed.), Konservative Politiker in Deutsch- 

land (1995), 69-88. 

[UfFa Jensen (2 nd ed.)] 

STAHL, HEINRICH (1868-1942), president of the Jewish 
community of ^Berlin under the Nazi regime. A prominent 
insurance executive, Stahl was a liberal Jew who attached great 
value to Jewish tradition. He became president of the Berlin 
community in May 1933, when its executive consisted of seven 
liberals (Reform), three Zionists, and one Orthodox represen- 
tative. He was influential in the establishment of the Reichs- 
vertretung der Deutschen Juden, and signed its first procla- 
mation. In November 1935, the Nazi authorities demanded the 
reduction of the executive to seven members, and the Zionists 
put in their claim for 50% of the seats. Stahl saved the situa- 
tion by reducing the number of his own liberal faction from 
seven to three. He attempted to retain a special status for the 
Berlin community vis-a-vis the * Reich svertretung. He did not 
succeed, though it was agreed that its headquarters would re- 
main in Berlin. Stahl, the patrician businessman, did not see 
eye to eye with the scholarly rabbi, Leo *Baeck. Deported to 
*Theresienstadt in 1942, in the month preceding his death 
he became deputy chairman of the camps *Judenrat under 

Jacob *Edelstein. 

[Kurt Jakob Ball-Kaduri] 


(1879-1953), Bolshevik revolutionary, ruler of the Soviet 
Union, and leader of world * Communism. Through his en- 
tire career, Stalin had to deal with the "Jewish question," and as 
the autocratic ruler of the Soviet Union his policy had a pro- 
found influence on the fate of the Jewish people. At the early 
stages of the factional strife in the Russian Social Democratic 

Party, during which Stalin unreservedly joined *Lenin and the 
Bolsheviks, he became involved in the Jewish problem through 
their bitter dispute with the *Bund. In 1913, with Lenin's ap- 
proval, he published an essay titled "Social Democracy and 
the National Question" (later renamed "Marxism and the Na- 
tional Question"), in which the Jews figured prominently as 
the subject of a theoretical analysis of ethnicity and nation- 
hood. In this essay Stalin denied the existence of one national 
Jewish entity throughout the world, stressing the differences 
between the Jewish communities in East and West. He con- 
ceded that certain ethnic characteristics exist in each Jewish 
community separately, but denied the Jews any national status 
and adhered to Lenin's concept of the unavoidable progressive 
assimilation and disappearance of the Jews under advanced 
capitalism (e.g., in Western Europe and in America) and cer- 
tainly under Socialism. 

In contrast to this view, Stalin, as commissar of nationali- 
ties in the first Soviet government (1917-23), was responsible 
for the policy of fostering Yiddish cultural and educational 
activity, Jewish administrative institutions, and agricultural 
settlement, and it was he who gave the formal permit to the 
young Hebrew theater *Habimah in Moscow. In his contro- 
versy and blood feud with L. *Trotsky, G. Zinovyev, L. *Ka- 
menev, K. * Radek, and other members of Lenin's old guard, 
hardly any anti- Jewish allusions were discernible. He did not 
refrain, however, from accusing his prominent Jewish victims 
of being agents of the Nazis and the *Gestapo. Although there 
were Jews among the executors of the bloody purges, the up- 
heaval of the party and government structure caused by these 
purges resulted in a reduction of Jewish personnel in many 
branches of the bureaucracy. 

At the same time a marked change occurred in Stalin's 
policy toward Jewish cultural activity and to the evolution 
of Jewish settlement and territorial autonomy, which had 
culminated in the ^Birobidzhan project. Stalin's trend, con- 
current with the great purges, was to liquidate the Yiddish 
school system, Yiddish publications, research institutes, the- 
aters, etc., so that at the end of the 1930s only token vestiges of 
them remained (as, e.g., the State Jewish Theater in Moscow). 
During his rapprochement with Nazi Germany (1939-41) he 
suppressed in the Soviet press and radio all mention of Nazi 
antisemitism and anti- Jewish atrocities, but himself refrained 
from using anti-Jewish allusions while attacking the Western 
"imperialist" powers. He extradited to the Nazi regime Ger- 
man communists who had fled to the Soviet Union, many of 
them Jews. The German attack on the Soviet Union (June 22, 
1941) and his adherence to the anti-Nazi alliance induced Sta- 
lin to establish the Jewish *Anti- Fascist Committee, which, for 
the enlistment of Western Jewish support for the Soviet war 
effort, was allowed to exploit the sentiments of world Jewish 
solidarity and "brotherhood" and even use Jewish historical 
and nationalist rhetoric, in full contradiction to his original 
ideological concept of Jewish identity. Immediately after the 
war, when he was presented with a plan to allow returning 
Jewish evacuees to settle in the Crimea, Stalin opposed it on 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



the grounds that in the event of war a "Jewish Crimea" would 
constitute a security risk for the Soviet Union. 

An exceptional episode in Stalin's attitude to Jewish na- 
tionhood was his resolute and energetic support in 1947-48 
for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, a policy 
clearly directed against Britain's position in the Middle East 
and largely reversed during the explicitly antisemitic (and 
"anti-Zionist") stance of his last years (1948-53), which coin- 
cided with the Cold War. An ominous prelude to these "black 
years" was the camouflaged assassination of the de facto head 
of Soviet Jewry Solomon *Mikhoels, the chairman of the Jew- 
ish Anti- Fascist Committee, on Jan. 13, 1948, a crime to which 
Stalin was at least a passive accomplice. 

From the end of 1948 until his death, Stalin displayed an 
extremely hostile attitude toward everything Jewish (mostly 
labeled "Zionist"). He embarked on a course of complete liq- 
uidation of the last Jewish institutions and personalities who 
engaged in Yiddish literature and culture. The Jewish Anti- 
Fascist Committee and the publishing house Der Ernes were 
closed down. Mass arrests of leading Jewish writers and artists 
followed. Jewish intellectuals and professionals active in vari- 
ous fields were also arrested. Among the arrested was Molo- 
tov's Jewish wife, whom Stalin believed to be sent by Zionists 
to spy on her husband. These purges were accompanied by a 
vituperous campaign of the Soviet press against Western-ori- 
ented * "Cosmopolitans" in which Jews were the obvious tar- 
get. In mid-1952 a closed trial was held against members of 
the Anti- Fascist Committee and other leading personalities 
in Jewish cultural life, 26 of whom were secretly executed on 
August 12 of that year. They were accused of Jewish national- 
ism, of having maintained contact with Western espionage, 
and of having planned to detach the Crimea from the Soviet 
Union. Jews were assigned a prominent role in the Slansky 
^Trials, staged in Czechoslovakia on Stalin's orders, and based 
mainly on an alleged link between Jews, Zionism, and U.S. 
espionage. This trial indicated Stalin's intentions to use anti- 
semitism not only in the Soviet Union, but also in the satel- 
lite countries of Eastern Europe. The ^"Doctors' Plot," staged 
under Stalin's supervision in 1952 and published on January 
13, 1953, represented his fears and suspicions of the Jews. It is 
generally believed that Stalin's death on March 5 of that year 
prevented a major disaster to Soviet Jews. 

Personal Anti- Jewish Bias 

Stalin's ruthlessness and secretive nature make it impossible 
to prove conclusively when and to what extent a personal 
anti- Jewish bias played its role in his policy toward individual 
Jews and the Jewish people. Jews were known to him from his 
childhood and adolescence, since both Georgian towns - Gori, 
his birthplace, and the capital Tbilisi, where he received his 
Greek- Orthodox education - had a sizable Jewish population. 
A jest to which he referred in an article in 1907, in which the 
Bolsheviks' rivals, the Mensheviks, were portrayed as a "Jew- 
ish" faction of the Social- Democratic Party, and the humorous 
allusion made to the fact that it would not have been a bad idea 

if the Bolsheviks staged an intraparty "pogrom" seemed to in- 
dicate a certain train of thought. On the other hand, on Jan. 12, 
1931, in an interview with a representative of the Jewish Tele- 
graphic Agency, Stalin made one of the sharpest statements 
ever made against antisemitism, describing it as "the most 
dangerous vestige of cannibalism," and in 1936 he allowed 
this statement to be published in the Soviet Union (Pravda> 
Nov. 30). However, there is a series of indications of a personal 
anti- Jewish bias, as, e. g., a remark made to General Sikorski, 
the head of the Polish government in exile, in 1941 ("the Jews 
are rotten soldiers"), and various hints and remarks he ut- 
tered in 1948 to the Yugoslav Communist Milovan Djilas, or, 
in his family life, his disapproval of his son Yakov's marriage 
to a Jewess, his highly emotional irritation over his daughter's 
romance with the Jewish film director Kapler (having him 
arrested and sent to a labor camp) and avoiding meeting his 
Jewish son-in-law. The enthusiastic response of Soviet Jews to 
the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 seemed to have 
reinforced his antagonism. He said to his daughter, Svetlana, 
that the entire older generation of Soviet Jews was contami- 
nated with Zionism and that they were teaching it to their 
young people. Thus it seems evident that, while consciously 
exploiting deep-rooted anti- Jewish suspicions of the populace 
for his political ends - through the anti- "Cosmopolitan" cam- 
paign, the Slansky Trials, and the Doctors' Plot, which high- 
lighted his nationalist, anti-Western Cold War policy - Stalin 
himself became more and more paranoid and disturbed in his 
attitude to Jews and the Jewish people. 

See also ^Antisemitism: In the Soviet Bloc. 

bibliography: I. Deutscher, Stalin: A Political Biography 

(1949, 1963 3 ); S.M. Schwarz, The Jews in the Soviet Union (1951); 

idem, Yevrei v Sovetskom Soyuze, 2 (1966 4 ); M. Djilas, Talks with 

Stalin (1962); S. Allilueva, Twenty Letters to a Friend (1967); idem, 

Only One Year (1969). 

[Shimon Redlich] 

STAMFORD, town in Lincolnshire in northeastern England. 
In 1190 the local Jews were attacked by the crusaders assem- 
bled there at the Lent fair and those unable to find shelter in 
the royal castle were massacred. The community later rees- 
tablished itself and in the 13 th century there was an *archa. In 
1222 members of the community were arrested on a charge of 
mocking Christianity, possibly the result of a misunderstand- 
ing of a Purim masquerade. No Jewish community has been 
established in modern times. 

bibliography: Roth, England, index; Rigg-Jenkinson, Ex- 
chequer, index. 

[Cecil Roth] 

STAMFORD, corporate and finance center in Connecti- 
cut; population (2004) 111,000; Jewish population (2004) est. 
14,000. The earliest Jewish merchants were Nehemiah Marks 
(1720), and Jacob Hart (1728), who by 1738 was the fifth high- 
est taxpayer in town. He owned property also in Greenwich 
and Darien but as a Jew was not eligible to vote or serve on 
the grand jury. Hart's children were the first of the Jewish faith 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


born in Stamford. Jewish families came from New York dur- 
ing the American Revolution, among them were Isaac Pinto 
who translated the first English High Holy Day prayer book in 
America (1761) and the daily English prayer book in 1766 but 
did not remain afterwards. Sporadic Jewish settlers continued 
to come until 1856 when Wolff Cohen advertised his clothing 
store in The Advocate. In 1868 there were five Jewish-owned 
businesses but no community or congregation. Through the 
1870s Jewish owned saloons as well as clothing and fancy and 
dry goods establishments. The first Jewish marriage with a 
full minyan was held in 1805, but it was not until 1871, when 
Rabbi Henry Vidaver of New York married Henry Bernhard 
and Rachel Cohen, that a description of the ceremony and re- 
ception were printed in full detail in The Advocate. Samuel H. 
Cohen, Stamford's first Jewish attorney, was appointed probate 
judge in 1876. In 1881 Jacob Rosenblum arrived in Stamford; he 
is considered the first Eastern-European Jew from Lithuania to 
reach there, coming via Sharon, Pennsylvania. Young, single 
peddlers, Isadore Alexander and Solomon Osmansky, followed. 
The first worship services were held in an attic on Cedar St. 
In 1887 David Cohen, a new arrival, reports that the first High 
Holy Day services were held in Stamford in Jacob Rosenblum's 
tenement flat on Stillwater Ave. The same year Pacific St. began 
to develop as the retail hub for the new arrivals who opened 
a variety of retail stores and small manufacturing. By World 
War 1, this street had become Stamfords version of New York's 
Lower East Side. Mainstream Jewish stores were also on Main 
St. and Atlantic Street. In 1889 a congregation was chartered as 
Agudath Sholom with 22 signers. In 1891 a cemetery association 
was chartered with the name of Agoodat Solima and purchased 
land on West Hill Rd. The congregation during this decade was 
dormant and by 1901, it was simply reported as "The Hebrew 
Society" with no building of its own. In 1904 a second charter 
for a Cong. Agudath Sholom was issued and ground was bro- 
ken for the first synagogue, completed 1908. There were secular 
Jewish organizational chapters, such as L'Maan Zion that be- 
gan in 1902, and the Independent Lodge started in 1903, which 
also established its own cemetery on Hoyt St. in Darien in 1904. 
B'nai B'rith was chartered in 1910, and the National Council for 
Jewish Women in 1911; a Stamford Hebrew Political & Social 
Club was chartered in 1907. Of all the aforementioned groups, 
only the Independent Lodge survives. In 1911 attorney Alfred 
Phillips was elected to the state legislature, and in 1913 he be- 
came the first Jewish secretary of state in Connecticut. In 1916 
The Hebrew Institute was founded as the meeting place for so- 
cial and later also some worship activities of the community. It 
dissolved in 1927 and was succeeded by The Stamford Jewish 
Community Center which dedicated its building on Prospect 
St. in 1930. Roosevelt Lodge of the Masonic Order was founded 
1922, because Jews were refused membership in Stamford's 
Union Lodge F.&A.M. The jcc moved to its present location 
on Newfield Avenue in 1982. Temple Beth El, a Conservative 
congregation, was founded in 1920 and met in the Hebrew 
Institute until 1927, when its first synagogue was dedicated on 
Prospect St. The congregation moved to its newer structure 

on Roxbury Rd. in 1974. Temple Sinai, a Reform congregation 
founded in 1954, has a synagogue complex on Lakeside Drive. 
The Orthodox Congregation Agudath Sholom has worshiped 
since 1965 in its current building, which also has a mikveh y 
on Colonial Road. Young Israel is an Orthodox congregation 
with a synagogue on Oaklawn Avenue. Chabad is constructing 
a school complex on High Ridge Rd., and The Fellowship of 
Jewish Learning, founded 1973, is a liberal congregation shar- 
ing a meeting house on Roxbury Rd. All congregations have 
religious schools. The Bi-Cultural Day School founded in 1956 
is renowned for its full curriculum from kindergarten through 
grade eight. Jewish Family Services has offices to serve all in 
need of assistance. Offices of The United Jewish Federation, 
and The Jewish Endowment are located in the jcc. The Jewish 
Historical Society of Lower Fairfield County was founded in 
1983 in Stamford. Julius Wilensky was elected and served as the 
first and only mayor of the Jewish faith of The City of Stam- 
ford, 1969-73. Stamford is the birthplace and boyhood home 
of United States Senator Joseph Lieberman who was the first 
candidate of the Jewish faith to be nominated and run for vice 

president of the United States. 

[Irwin Miller (2 nd ed.)] 

STAMPFER, JEHOSHUA (1852-1908), a founder of *Petah 
Tikvah. Born in Szombathely, western Hungary, Stampfer 
attended Azriel *Hildesheimer's yeshivah at Eisenstadt. The 
obtainment of national independence by Hungary in 1867 
aroused in Stampfer a desire to go to Erez Israel to ensure the 
survival of the Jewish people and the Torah. Leaving home 
in 1869 and completing his journey to Jerusalem on foot, he 
joined a group of young people who were trying to establish 
an agricultural settlement in the country. In 1878 he and his 
companions settled on land that belonged to the village of 
Mulabbis, near the Yarkon River, and founded the first Jew- 
ish agricultural settlement, * Petah Tikvah. For many years 
Stampfer was chairman of the Petah Tikvah local council, 
which sent him abroad to collect funds from philanthropists 
and also encourage settlement in Erez Israel. In 1903 he at- 
tended the *Zikhron Ya'akov assembly, which was convened 
to form the organizational framework of the yishuv; he was 
the representative of the conservative faction, which had as 
one of its aims the abolition of women's right to vote. He ad- 
ministered the affairs of Petah Tikvah in an ultra- Orthodox 
spirit and accepted the first pioneers of the Second Aliyah with 
mixed feelings: he was pleased by the influx of new blood to 
the country and tried to help the newcomers integrate and 
learn farming, but, on the other hand, he bitterly opposed 
their detached attitude toward religion and feared their influ- 
ence on the settlers and their children. Stampfer s son, Solo- 
mon isaac stampfer (1877-1961), became the first mayor 
of Petah Tikvah in 1934. 

bibliography: Y. Yaari-Poleskin, Holemim ve-Lohamim 
(1946 2 ), 38-46; idem (ed.), Sefer ha-Yovel le-Petah Tikvah (1929), 107-22; 
M. Smilansky, Mishpahat ha-Adamah, 1 (1944), 65-68. 

[Yehuda Slutsky] 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 



STAMPFER, JOSHUA (1921- ), U.S. Conservative rabbi, 
historian. Stampfer was born in the Jewish Quarter in the Old 
City of Jerusalem and was brought at the age of two to the 
United States, where he grew up in Akron, Ohio. He earned 
his B.S. from the University of Chicago in 1943 and his M.S. 
from the University of Akron in 1945. He returned to Jeru- 
salem to study at the Hebrew University and volunteered to 
fight with the *Haganah in Israel's War of Independence. He 
was ordained at the *Jewish Theological Seminary in 1949 
and received a D.H.L. from the * University of Judaism in 
1972. In 1987, he was awarded an honorary Ph.D. from Pa- 
cific University. He served as rabbi of Congregation Tifereth 
Israel in Lincoln, Nebraska (1949-53) before becoming rabbi 
of Congregation Neveh Shalom in Portland, Oregon (emeri- 
tus since 1993). Under his leadership, Neveh Shalom grew to 
more than 1,000 families, to become one of the leading Con- 
servative synagogues in the Pacific Northwest. Influenced by 
his teacher Mordecai *Kaplan, Stampfer initiated egalitarian 
changes, encouraging women to read the To rah and counting 
them in the minyan long before it became more commonplace 
within the movement. 

A past president of both the Oregon Board of Rabbis 
and the Pacific Northwest Region of the ^Rabbinical Assem- 
bly, Stampfer brought dynamism to the greater Oregon Jew- 
ish community as well. In addition to developing innovative 
educational programs at his own synagogue, Stampfer was 
instrumental in founding the first Jewish day school in the 
city, Hillel Academy (now the Portland Jewish Academy). 
He established and chaired the Oregon Jewish Historical Soci- 
ety, the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center, the Oregon Jew- 
ish Museum, and the Oregon Israel Jubilee Committee. In 
1983, he founded the Institute for Judaic Studies, sponsoring 
symposia and conferences (in conjunction with the Univer- 
sity of Oregon and Portland State University, where he serves 
on the faculty) that bring Jewish scholars to an area of the 
country considered remote. Remembering the influence of 
Shlomo *Bardins Brandeis Camp on his own life, Stampfer 
founded and directed Camp Solomon *Schechter, the only 
Conservative Jewish summer camp in the Pacific North- 

Stampfer created and nurtured organizations beyond 
the boundaries of Oregon as well. His travels and contacts 
with the remnants of the ancient Jewish community of Kai- 
feng, China, and the Converso families of Belmonte, Portugal, 
led him to become the founding president of the Society for 
Crypto- Judaic Studies, to support research on the vanishing 
traces of the ^Diaspora. He was also an organizer and the first 
vice president of the Sino- Judaic Institute. 

Stampfer has maintained close personal and professional 
ties with Israel. He spent his sabbaticals working for and teach- 
ing at the fledgling Center for Conservative Judaism in Jeru- 
salem. He encouraged support for Israel at home and led more 
than a dozen community and clergy tours to Israel. He was 
a co-founder of Oregonians for Peace Now and a member of 
the national board of Americans for Peace Now. 

Stampfer was a long-standing appointee to the Oregon 
Government Ethics Commission and was actively involved in 
interfaith dialogue with Muslim and Christian leaders. He was 
the author of Pioneer Rabbi of the West: The Life and Times of 
Julius Eckman (1984), and a volume on ancient history, Cradle 
of Civilization in the Middle East (n.d.). In addition, Stamp- 
fer edited six books: Prayer and Politics: The Twin Poles of A.J. 
Heschel (1985); Dialogue, the Essence ofBuber (1986); The Se- 
phardim: A Cultural Journey from Spain to the Pacific Coast 
(1987); All Its Paths Are Peace (1987); Islam and Judaism, 1400 
Years of Shared Values (1988); and The Last Crypto Jews of Por- 
tugal (1990). A biography of Stampfer s life, To Learn and to 
Teach (by David Michael Smith) appeared in 2003. 

[Bezalel Gordon (2 nd ed.)] 

STAMPS. The first post offices in the Holy Land were estab- 
lished by the European great powers, by arrangement with 
the Sublime Porte, in the mid-i9 th century (see ^Israel: Postal 
Services for further details). 

The following post offices were established by the Euro- 
pean powers: 

(a) French Post Offices. There were three French post of- 
fices in Erez Israel. The office in Jaffa was opened in June 1852, 
while those in Jerusalem and Haifa were opened in 1900 and 
1906, respectively. The postage stamps of France were in use 
until 1885, when they were replaced by stamps specially issued 
for the French post offices in the Levant. 

(b) Austrian Post Offices. The post offices in Jaffa and 
Haifa were opened in 1854 and that in Jerusalem in 1859. Post- 
age stamps were introduced in 1863 with the issues of Lom- 
bardo-Venetia, followed in 1867 by the first stamps for the 
Austrian post offices in the Levant. 

(c) Russian Post Offices. The Russian post offices in Erez 
Israel were in Jaffa, Jerusalem, Acre, and Haifa. 

(d) The Italian Post Office. This was the only postal ser- 
vice to issue stamps specially overprinted with the name of 
the city "Gerusalemme." 

The period of the Turkish post offices ended with the 
conquest of Erez Israel by General Allenby (1917-18). The 
British then opened post offices, staffed by army personnel, 
in the principal towns and cities. At that time there were no 
postal facilities for the civilian population, and the inhabitants 
of Erez Israel were unable to communicate with their relatives 
and friends abroad. Cut off from the outside world for a long 
time, the people of Erez Israel eagerly awaited the resumption 
of postal services. On Dec. 9, 1917, approval was given by the 
military authorities for printing the first stamp under the Brit- 
ish occupation. This stamp, first issued on Feb. 10, 1918, bears 
the initials eef ("Egyptian Expeditionary Forces") and cost 
one piaster. A total of 338,881 of these stamps were printed on 
ungummed paper, and they remained in use until July 1, 1920. 
In addition, 20 separate stamps of various monetary denomi- 
nations, all appearing with the same basic design, were issued. 
The Civil Administration replaced the Military Administra- 
tion on July 1, 1920, when the letters oet (or oetaeef), the 


ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition, Volume 19 


abbreviation for "Occupied Enemy Territory Administration, 
Egyptian Expeditionary Force," were removed from the oblit- 
erators used in all post offices. It was decided by the govern- 
ment to issue stamps bearing inscriptions in the then official 
languages of the country: English, Hebrew, and Arabic.