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I

THE

JEWISH RELIGION.

BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

Second Edition. Price is. 6d.

TEXT-BOOK OF THE JEWISH EELIGION.

"Embodies in an equal degree thought, learning, and experi- ence."— Academy.

"Dr. Friedlauder's text-book supplies a real want, which must have been severely felt by many teachers who are called upon to infuse into their pupils the elements of the Jewish religion." Jewish Standard.

LONDON : KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER, & CO. L™

i/l/, i/i ^jjLAjtyi'^-^-^^^

THE

JEWISH RELIGION.

M. FRIEDLANDER.

\

LONDON: KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER, & CO. L™

PATERNOSTER HOUSE, CHARING CROSS ROAD. I8qi.

The rights of translation and of reproduction are reserved.

''"i

PREFACE.

In presenting this volume to the public the author does not claim much originality. He merely desires to reproduce the religious principles which were sown into his heart by his parents, V'T, and cultivated by the great teachers of Israel the Prophets, the Soferim, and their successors in order that the blessing which he himself has always derived from these principles may also be enjoyed by his brethren. The original sources of religious knowledge, \\z., the Scriptures and Post-Biblical Jewish Literature, are of course accessible to all, and every one may sit at the feet of our great teachers and listen to their instruction. But there are many who are in need of assistance, who require the aid of an interpreter. The present volume is intended to render that assistance and to serve as such interpreter. The author therefore addresses him- self to his brethren, especially to his disciples, in the words of an ancient teacher of the Mishnah (Aboth V. 25), "Turn it, and turn it over again;" and if he cannot add also " for everything is in it," he hopes

8947fiG

The rights of translation and of reproduction are reserved.

m

I',',

I

m

3£M

560 F'il

^

PREFACE.

In presenting this volume to the public the author does not claim much originality. He merely desires to reproduce the religious princijDles which were sown into his heart by his parents, V'T, and cultivated by the great teachers of Israel the Prophets, the Soferim, and their successors in order that the blessing which he himself has always derived from these principles may also be enjoyed by his bretliren. The original sources of religious knowledge, viz., the Scriptures and Post-Biblical Jewish Literature, are of course accessible to all, and every one may sit at the feet of our great teachers and listen to their instruction. But there are many who are in need of assistance, who require the aid of an interpreter. The present volume is intended to render that assistance and to serve as such interpreter. The author therefore addresses him- self to his brethren, especially to his disciples, in the words of an ancient teacher of the Mishnah (Aboth V. 25), " Turn it, and turn it over again ; " and if he cannot add also " for everythmg is in it," he hopes

T

I

n

PREFACE,

that that whik^ m m it will be ffmnd nsgfnl to those wlio seek rid^xoiM knowiaige. smd tiiat it wiE pit^e

'.'-'- to heed izi .,,.,.. .. . .... . . _ . : in^stnicT. . :-

in tl»e lAYme Law,"

To a great exteat this w€«k cywes its cmgiii to the wana \r "' '.- -^^ llr. Jacob A. rranilin.

n"i7, t/'/^k ... ow i,.r^..^i- * J with Judaism. He

Tfii/hiiXf-A\y nr'/jA upon , .ot the neee^ity of

publkhing a book on the Jewish Eeligion. A plan wa« suggested, disummed, and finally adopted : but the )ft(f(^(^:'M of the work waa slow on account of other i'lUiraij engagernentg of the author. Althotigh Mr. Franklin departed from ottr midst long before it was c^nnplhUid, hiu philanthropy, which survived him, has a Hhare in it8 completion, the book being printed at the iiX]mim of the Jac^>b A. Franklin Trust Fund for the whunc^runni of Judaism. In recognition of these facts the author dedica,tes this work

5n pictr,

TO THI MiaCOKT or HIS LITE FRIES 1\

JACOB A. rRANKLIN. O.KM.

THT AFTHOK TTKTHER TETICATES THIS TOLriTE

5n affection.

TO

HIS I>EVOTET> WIFE. HIS PEAK CHILTREX,

AXI> HIS BELOVEP PISCIPLES.

m

vi PREFACE.

that tluit wliicli is in it will be found useful to those wlio seek religious knowledge, and that it will prove an incentive to many " to learn and teach, to heed and do, and to fulfil in love all the words of instruction in tlie Divine Law."

To a great extent this work owes its origin to the warm interest which tlie late Mr. Jacob A. Franklin, rry, took in all matters connected with Judaism. He repeatedly urged upon tlie author the necessity of publishing a book on the Jewish Eeligion. A plan was suggested, discussed, and finally adopted ; but the progress of the work was slow on account of other literary engagements of the author. Although Mr. Franklin departed from our midst long before it was completed, his philanthropy, w^hich survived him, has a share in its completion, the book being printed at the expense of the Jacob A. Franklin Trust Fund for the advancement of Judaism. In recognition of these facts the author dedicates this work—

5n pictB*

TO THE MEMORY OF HIS LATE FRIEND,

b"\ D^-la^< ") "innn p nap;? 'i

JACOB A. FRANKLIN, O.B.M.

AND

THE AUTHOR FURTHER DEDICATES THIS VOLUME

Jn Bffcction,

TO

HIS DEVOTED WIFE, HIS DEAR CHILDREN,

AND HIS BELOVED DISCIPLES.

viii PREFACE.

In conclusion, the author begs to thank the Eev.

S. Singer for his assistance and his many valuable

suggestions while the book was passing through the

press.

M. FRIEDLANDER.

Jews' College, 3 lyar 5651.

CONTENTS.

Introduction .1-18

What is Judaism ? ........ 2

OUR CREED.

Faith as commended in Bible and Tradition

Faith according to Saadiah

Ibn Gabirol .....

Dunash ben Tamim, Bach3'a b. Joseph

Shem-tob ; Abraham b. David ; Jehudah

hallevi .....

Ibn Ezra ; Maimonides ; Joseph Albo

Eliah del Medigo

Moses Mendelssohn .

The Thirteen Principles of Faith

First Group of Principles Existence of God Natural Religion Polytheism Pantheism Atheism . Deism ; Theism The First Principle : God, the Creator and Ruler of the Universe . Natural Laws and Miracles Evolution and Creation Principle II. Unity of God III. . . . Anthropomorphism in the Bible Principle IV. V.

5

9

II

12

13 14 15 16

19

22 22

25 26 27 29

30 31 33

38 41 41

43 44

CONTENTS.

PAGE

A''arious Attributes of God ...... 44

Second Group of Principles Revelation .... 46

General Remarks Early Revelations 46

Prophet 49

Text of Prophecies 53

Massorah 55

Names and Authors of the Books of the Bible 55

Pentateuch .......... 57

Earlier Prophets ......... 62

Latter Prophets ......... 66

Isaiah .......... 66

Jeremiah .........

Ezekiel 75

Minor Prophets 78

Hagiographa ......... 87

Psalms . . . 8y

Proverbs ......... 96

Job 108

The Song of Solomon 1 12

Ruth; Lamentations . . . . . . .11^

Ecclesiastes . . . . . . . . .114

Esther; Daniel 116

Ezra ; Nehemiah 125

Chronicles ......... 126

Apocrypha . . . . . . . . . .127

The Book of Wisdom 127

The Wisdom of Jesus, Son of Sirach . . . .128

Baruch 129

Tobit ; Judith 130

The Books of the Maccabees ..... 131

Principle VI. Truth of the Prophecies . . . .131

VII. Distinction of Moses from other Prophets 133

VIII. ^ Authenticity of the Torah . . -134

The Oral Law 136

Principle IX. Immutability of the Torah .... 139

Third Group of Principles Reward and Punishment . . 142

Divine Justice and Man's Free-will ..... 142

Principle X. God's Omniscience ..... 148

XL Reward and Punishment .... 150

CONTENTS.

Principle XII. Messiah ....

XIII. Resurrection Future Life Notes on the Number of Principles . On Principle I. .... .

Creation according to Maimonides

Saadiah

Bible and Science ....

On Principle V. Efficacy of Prayer Revelation .....

Principle VI. .....

Revelation according to Saadiah .

Jehudah hallevi

,, Ibn Ezra

,, Maimonides

Albo

On Principle VII

VIII

Varise Lectiones, Tikkun Soferim, Ittur Soferini

,, Al-tikre, Biblical Quotations in Talmud and Midrash

Bible Criticism .......

the Pentateuch .......

Explanation of 2 Kings xxii. 8 sqq. ....

Abraham ibn Ezra's View on the Integrity of the Pentateuch Authenticity of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah . Authenticity of the Book of Daniel ....

On Principle IX. ........

Explanation of Jer. xxxi. 31-33 .....

,, some Talmudical Passages .

The Immutability of the Torah according to Maimonides

The Immutability of the Torah according to Jehudah hallevi

The Immutability of the Torah according to Albo and R.

Abraham b. David

On Principle X. . XL .

Eternal Punishment

Vicarious Atonement

Principle XII. Maimonides on Messiah, Jesus, and Mohammed Principle XIII. ......

PAGE

155 163 169

174 174 177 178

183 190 192 192 194 197 197 201 201 202 203 204 205 205 207 210 212 214 215 216 216 217 218

219 220 221 223 224 225 226 231

xii CONTENTS.

PAGE

OUR DUTIES.

On Religious Duties in General 233

Classification of the Divine Precepts 239

Object of the Divine Law ....... 242

I. The Ten Commandments ...... 247-272

Notes on the Ten Commandments ..... 266-272

Different Opinions on the Division of the Commandments . 266 Ibn Ezra on Exod. xx. 2 ...... . 269

Abarbanel and R. S. Hirsch on the Ten Commandments . 270 Parallels to the Decalogue ....... 272

II. General Moral Principles ...... 272-328

Duties toivards God ........ 273-291

(a.) Duties of the Heart 273-278

Fear and Love of God ....... 273

Gratitude toward Him ....... 275

Reverence for His Name ....... 275

Obedience to His Will ....... 276

Faith and Confidence in His Goodness . . . -277

Resignation to His Will 277

(6.) Duties with reference to Speech .... 278-288

Prayer 280

Study of His Word 2S5

(c.) Duties with reference to Action .... 2S8-291 Sanctification of God's Name ...... 289

Imitation of His Ways 290

Duties toioards our Fellow-creatures ..... 292-319

General Principles 292

Duties in reference to the Life and the Property of our

Fellow-man

292

Prohibition of Interest and Usury 294

Duties in reference to our Fellow-men's Honour and

Well-being ........ 298

Charity, IDH ni^CJ and Hpl^* 302

Special Duties ........ 305-318

Children and Parents ....... 305

Friends .......... 306

Husband and Wife 310

Fellow-citizens . . . . . . . . .310

Fellow-members of a Community 312

CONTENTS. xiii

PAGE

Duties towards IMembers of another Community . . 312 Employers and Employed . . . . . 313

Superiors and Inferiors . . . . . . -313

Teacher and Pupil ; Master and Servant ; Rich and Poor 314 Duties towards the Old, Magistrates, and all to whom

Honour is due . . . . . . . '317

Kindness to Animals . . . . . . . .318

Duties to Ourselves ........ 319-328

III. Sifjns as Outward Reminders of God and His Will . 328-338 Tsitsith ........... 329

TefilUn 331

Mcziizah 335

Circumcision .......... 336

Notes ........... 336

IV, Sabhath, Festivals, and Fasts ..... 339-413 On Sabbath and Festivals in General .... 339-360

1. 113T "Remember" ....... 340-349

Kiddush and Ilabhdalah ....... 340

Lessons from the Pentateuch and the Prophets . . 345

2. -lint:' " Take Heed " ...... 349-353

Work Forbidden ........ 349

3. 3Jy" Delight" 353-355

Sabbath and Festivals Days of Cheerfulness . . . 353

4. nnD " Honour " 355-35^

Sabbath and Festival Bread and Lights . . . -355

Notes 358

The Jewish Calendar ........ 360

Notes 367

The Festivals . . . . . . . . . 368-409

The Three Festivals U'h).^ ^h^ 369-400

The Four Distinguished Sabbaths ..... 369

Passover ......... 372-392

Seder-evening ........ 379

Counting of the Omer 3S9

The Days of the Counting of the Omer . . . 392

The Feast of Wcchs ....... 393-394

The Feast of Tabernacles ...... 395-400

Solemn Days D''X"n3 W)2'' 400-409

New-year .......... 402

liv CONTENTS.

PACE

Day of Atonement ........ 405

Bistorical Feasts and Fasts 409-413

Chanuccah 409

Purim 411

The Four Fasts 412

Optional Fasts 413

V. Divine Worship 413-455

Beginnings of Divine Worship 413

Sacrifices ........... 414

Prayer 4i8-455

Devotion .......... 419

Minhag or Custom . . . . . . . -419

Prayer in Hebrew ........ 420

Efficacy of Prayer 422

Synagogue .......... 423

Instrumental Music in Synagogue ..... 427

The Ritual, in Talmud and Midrash ..... 429

Prayers at Fixed Times . . . . . . -435

Shcma, y)2t>; 436

Amidah or Tefillah ........ 437

Abridged Forms of the Amidah ..... 439

Other Constituent Elements of the Service . . . 439

Night-prayer 440

Public Service . . . . . . . -441

Kaddish 441

Kedushah .......... 442

Repetition of Amidah ....... 442

Priests' Benediction 442

The Reading of the Law ....... 442

Occasional Prayers ; Benedictions ; Grace .... 442

Notes on Customs in Synagogue ...... 444

Temporary Substitutes for the Service .... 446

Repetition of the Amidah ....... 446

Kedushah ; Kaddish ....... 447

Sermons and Lectures . 448

Special Prayer-Meetings ....... 449

Reform of the Ritual 449

Congregations and their Religious Guide .... 454

VI. The Dietary Laics 455-466

CONTENTS. XV

PAOE

Their Object 455

n^iy Fruit of Trees in the First Three Years . . . 457

K'nn, wahj, nnycj' 457

Meaning of nipn 458

The Killing of Animals for Food 459

Prohibition of Blood 459

Trefah 459

Clean and Unclean Animals ...... 459

Forbidden Fat 461

The Sinew that Shrank . . . . . . .461

Meat and Milk ......... 461

Notes. Explanation of Gen. ix. 4 Seven Noachide Precepts 462

On Shechitah ......... 463

How to Kasher the Meat ....... 463

Explanation of Num. xi. 22 and Lev. xvii. 13 . . . 464

On Clean and Unclean Birds ...... 465

Meat and Milk. . . 465

Honey .......... 466

Wine of Libation ........ 466

.VIL Jeiuish Life 467-496

Guiding Principles in Jewish Life ...... 467

Torah and Abodah ; Beth-hammidrash and Synagogue . . 469

Charity 469

Jewish Women ......... 470

The Days of the Week 473

Anticipation of Sabbath, Feast, and Fast .... 474

Friday Evening. Sabbath and Festivals .... 475

New-moon and FuU-moon ....... 476

Important Moments in the Life of the Jew . . . 476-494 Birth. Initiation of the Male Child into the Covenant of

Abraham ......... 477

Redemption of the First-born ...... 478

Thanksgiving of the Mother after Confinement . . . 479

^012n n3-12 479

Education .......... 479

Bar-mitsvah . . . . . . . . . .481

Choice of Vocation ........ 482

Marriage .......... 483

Divorce 487

CONTENTS.

PAGE

Obligatory INIarriage (□13'>) and Obligatory Divorce (n^vH) 4^8

Death and Mourning 489

Regard for the Memory of the Deceased .... 494

Notes on Customs in Connection with the Burial Rites . 496 Appendices :

I. The Thirteen Principles in Hebrew . . 497-498

II. The Jewish Calendar ..... 498-501

I. Index of Quotations from Bible and Post-Biblical

Literature ........ 502-512

II. General Index ....... 513-520

III. Index of Names ....... 521-523

IV. Index of Hebrew Terms 524-528

THE JEWISH EELIGION.

INTRODUCTION.

" Man is the most privileged of creatures ; he has been made in the image of God. His privilege is still fm'ther enhanced by the fact that he has been made aware of his distinction" (Aboth iii. 14). There is in man a consciousness or feeling of a certain relation between him and a superior Being, on whose Will his own existence depends. This consciousness is the basis of religion, but is not religion itself. It is the influence Avhicli this feeling exercises over man's actions and conduct in life that forms the essence of religion. When man begins to feel that he is responsible for his actions to a higher Being, and forms his actions in harmony with this feeling, he may be called reli- gious. Two elements must therefore be distinguished in religion : the notion of man's dependence on and responsibility to a superior Being, and the influence of this notion on his actions : religious belief and religious practice, or faith and duty. Religious belief or faith, in its most simple and most general form, may be said to be common almost to all man- kind ; and in the great variety of faiths, produced by

2 THE JEWISH RELIGION.

various circumstances and experiences, this simple idea may easily be detected as the fundamental principle of all of them. The same can be said with regard to religious practice. There are certain fundamental principles of duty which are recognised and adopted by the most diverse religious sects ; they form, as it were, the common stem from whigh a large number of branches spring forth ir. all directions. These branches diverge more and more the larger they grow and the more numerous they become.

Judaism is one of these various religions. It has been the source of most of the religions of the civilised world, and is destined to become, in its simplest prin- ciples, the universal religion.

What is Judaism ? or what does Judaism teach its adherents to believe, and what does it teach them to do ? The answers to these two questions form the main subject of every book on our holy religion. The answer to the first question must include our doctrine about God, His attributes. His relation to the material world, and especially to man ; the mission of man, his hopes and fears. The answer to the second question must include our duties toward God, toward our fellow- men, and toward ourselves. Both answers must be based on that which we are taught in the Holy Writ- ings, and especially in the Torah. Eecourse may be had to philosophic speculation, to which, indeed, the first question peculiarly invites, but the result must be rectified by the teaching of the Torah.

In accordance with the maxim, " The secret things belong to the Lord our God ; but those things which are revealed belonj? unto us and to our children for

IXTRODUCTION. 3

ever : that wc may do all the words of this Law" abstruse metaphysical disquisitions about the essence and the attributes of the Divine Being will be avoided in the present work, as also every attempt at proving, philo- sophically or mathematically, truths which have been revealed unto us in a supernatural way.^ But the simple truths taught in the Holy Writings and ex- plained by our sages will be expounded, the different opinions about them will be examined, and it will be shown that these truths are not contradicted by common sense or by the results of scientific research.

The second question, however, What does Judaism teach us to do ? refers to " the things which are revealed," and must be treated more fully. Care will be taken, as far as possible, that nothing be omitted that is required for the right understanding and the correct estimate of our religious duties.

^ When our great theologians, Saadiah, Bachya, Maimonides, Albo, &c., considered it necessary to write long and abstruse metaphysical essays in order to firmly establish certain truths, it was done rather for the purpose of combating the views of opponent theologians than for the instruction of the multitude, and it may fairly be said that Maimonides has done far greater service to his brethren by the composition of a systematic code of laws than by his philosophical " Guide." The former, the Mishnch-Torah, never fails to enlighten those who seek in it en- lightenment with regard to some religious duty, whilst the "Guide" would scarcely relieve anyone of his perplexities in matters of religious belief. There is a saying in the Talmud Jerus. (Chagigah, ch. i.), "Would that they had forgotten me, and kept my commandments !" 1/ or, in other words, " Theologians would do better if they were less eager ' to investigate into the essence of God and His attributes, and were more anxious to study and to do God's commandments." Instead of devoting their chief attention to the knowledge and the practice of the Law, they waste their energy and their time in attempts to .solve prob- lems to which the human mind is unequal (S. Plessner, Religions Unterricht, p. xxxviii.).

4 THE JEWISH RELIGION.

Relifrion therefore includes two elements : faith and practice. In religious life, as well as in the teaching of religion, both elements are equally essential ; faith without religious practice does not suffice, nor the latter without faith. We are accustomed to look upon certain dogmas as fundamental, and certain practices as ess'ential, and are therefore prone to renounce beliefs which are not fundamental in our eyes, and to abandon such religious practice as seems to us less essential. Hence the frequent inquiry as to what is the minimum of belief, and what the minimum degree of conformity to the Law, that Judaism demands. But in reality there can be no compromise in religion, whether in matters of faith or of practice. Convinced of a certain number of truths, it is impossible for us to abandon any of them without being false to ourselves ; being convinced of the binding character of certain religious commands and pi'ohibitions, it would be perverse to pronounce at the same time part of them as superfluous. Judaism is the adherence to the truths taught in the Holy Law, and the faithfid obedience to its precepts.

The principal Hebrew equivalents for the modern term " Religion," nmn and ^J')D^<5 confirm this view. In the Bible mi/l signifies " instruction," and is applied to the teaching of religious truth, as well as to that of religious precepts. The same is the case with the second term ^J^D^? which signifies " firm- ness," *' perseverance," or " permanence," and is used of " consistency " in faith as well as of conscientious- ness in the practice of the Divine ordinances.-^

^ Post-biblical authors frequently employ the term HJIOX in the sense of rfligious belief, and min in the sense of velrji'jus duties ; the equivalent fox religion is m.

^-^/^^rS/^ ^C^c\ u v\A IV'

I.

OUR CREED.

Intuoduction.

Faith is the implicit and absolute belief in the truth of the commuuication made to us and in the trust- worthiness of him who makes it to us. The child has faith in its parents that their wishes or com- mands are for its good; the pupil in his teachers that they impart correct knowledge ; we have faith in our friends that they have no intention to deceive us ; in the men of science and learning that the results of their researches may be accepted as well established. In all these cases the faith is but imperfect and of a relative and temporary character. Time, investiga- tion, and extended observation and knowledge may either confirm the contents of our faith or may con- vince us that we have been in error. This is not the case with religious faith. It keeps within the boundaries of its own domain and does not encroach on that of the senses and of reason. Whatever can be known by means of scientific research and thorough investigation we need not accept on faith. Religion I have, of course, our own religion, the Jewish, in mind does not only not forbid such examina- tion, but even encourages it. Thus we read in the Book of Proverbs, " A fool believeth every word,

5

■ih

4 THE JEWISH RELIGION.

Reliction therefore includes two elements : faith and practice. In religious life, as well as in the teaching of religion, both elements are equally essential ; faith without religious practice does not suffice, nor the latter without faith. We are accustomed to look upon certain dogmas as fundamental, and certain practices as essential, and are therefore prone to renounce beliefs which are not f undamen*"al in our eyes, and to abandon such religious practice as seems to us less essential. Hence the frequent inquiry as to what is the minimum of belief, and what the minimum degree of conformity to the Law, that Judaism demands. But in reality there can be no compromise in religion, whether in matters of faith or of practice. Convinced of a certain number of truths, it is impossible for us to abandon any of them without being false to ourselves ; being convinced of the binding character of certain religious commands and prohibitions, it would be perverse to pronounce at the same time part of them as superfluous. Judaism is the adherence to the truths taught in the Holy Law, and the faithful obedience to its precepts.

The principal Hebrew equivalents for the modern term " Religion," TyT\r\ and njlDhJ, confirm this view. In the Bible miJl signifies " instruction," and is applied to the teaching of religious truth, as well as to that of religious precepts. The same is the case with the second term ^TJ^!^^? which signifies " firm- ness," " perseverance," or " permanence," and is used of " consistency " in faith as well as of conscientious- ness in the practice of the Divine ordinances.^

1 Post-biblical authors frequently employ the term HJIDX in the sense of rdigious helief, and min in the sense of relrjwus duties ; the equivalent for religion is m.

Y^-l

IKAnTVJ;

li

iTJ

\

Ces 33

I.

OUR CREED.

Introduction.

Faith is the implicit and absolute belief iu the truth of the communication made to us and in the trust- worthiness of him who makes it to us. The child has faith in its parents that their wishes or com- mands are for its good; the pupil iu his teachers that they impart correct knowledge ; we have faith in our friends that they have no intention to deceive us ; in the men of science and learning that the results of their researches may be accepted as well established. In all these cases the faith is but imperfect and of a relative and tempoi'ary character. Time, investiga- tion, and extended observation and knowledge may either confirm the contents of our faith or may con- vince us that we have been in error. This is not the case with religious faith. It keeps within the boundaries of its own domain and does not encroach on that of the senses and of reason. Whatever can be known by means of scientific research and thorough investigation we need not accept on faith. Religion I have, of course, our own religion, the Jewish, in mind does not only not forbid such examina- tion, but even encourages it. Thus we read in the Book of Proverbs, " A fool believeth every word,

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6 THE JEWISH REEIGION.

but the prudent man looketh well to his going " (xiv. I 5). For this purpose God has given us intel- lectual faculties that we should employ them in our search for truth. At the same time, however, He has set limits to our faculties, and there are things which are beyond these limits, being ?i2'ste7'6></t," things hidden" from our senses, whose existence has been made known to us through the grace of God, by such means as His infinite wisdom determined. We search and investi- gate, examine and demonstrate, within the sphere of our senses ; but all that is beyond their reach belongs to the nistaroth, the knowledge of which can only be imparted to us directly by the Almighty, or indirectly by those to whom they have been communicated by Him. Our belief with regard to these nistarotJi may be supported or strengthened by philosophical or dia- lectical arguments, but can never be proved by mathe- matical or logical demonstration.

The sources from which we derive our knowledge

of these nistaroth are Revelation and Tradition. God

re rea/.s things otherwise unknown to man to such persons

or to such a generation as His wisdom chooses, and from

those thus privileged the knowledge spreads to the rest

of mankind by means of Tradition. In addition to these

two sources there is a third one in ourselves : God

^ implanted in our souls certain ideas common to all of

S< l\^^ '^^ essential elements of our inner life, and these

k^ ideas form to some extent the basis of our faith.

^ Such is, e.g., the idea of an all-powerful Being, God,

Avho is the source and origin of everything in existence.

There is no real conflict between faith and reason.

It may s'lmetimes seem as if there were such a conflict,

OUR CREED. 7

and we then naturally begin to doubt. In such cases the truth of our faith may be doubted, but the correct- ness of our reasoning is no less subject to doubt. We may have erroneously included in our faith beliefs which do not belong to it, and on becoming aware that they are contrary to reason, we cast them aside without the least injury to our faith. On the other hand, our reason is not perfect ; we frequently discover mistakes in our arguments and conclusions, and reject opinions which we hitherto have considered as firmly established.

Through patient and thorough investigation of our doubts, without over-estimation of our reasoning facul- ties, we shall be able to settle the seeming conflict between reason and faith in a satisfactory manner. The examination of our doubts will prove that none of the truths which the Almighty revealed to mankind are contrary to reason.

In this way we are enabled to separate from our faith all elements that in reality are foreign to it ; we shall be able to distinguish between faith and supersti- tion. The latter consists of erroneous notions and beliefs which can be tested and subjected to the ordi- nary means of inquiry. Superstition is not tolerated by true religion ; strict adherence to the teachings of our holy religion is the best check to superstitious beliefs.

The importance which the Bible attaches to im- plicit faith in God and His word may be gathered from the following passages :

" And he (Abraham) believed in the Lord, and He reckoned it to him as righteousness " (Gen. xv. 6).

5 THE JEWISH RELIGION.

The Hebrew for " rigliteousness " is in the original ilpl)i which is used in the Bible as the sum-total of everything good and noble in man's life.

When the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea, it is said of them : " And Israel saw the great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the Lord : and they helicvcd in the Lord, and in Moses His servant " (Exod. xiv. 3 i ).

Again, when Moses and Aaron had sinned at the waters of Meribah by striking the rock instead of speaking to it, they were rebuked for want of n^lQJ^ " faith," in the following words : " Because ye believed not in one ("^2 DD^Di^n Kb) to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them " (Numb. XX. I 2).

When Moses in his song IJ^TJ*})! blamed the Israel- ites for their evil doings, he called them " children in whom there is no faith" p?2^^ (Deut. xxxii. 20).

King Jehoshaphat, addressing the army before the battle, says : " Have faith in the Lord and jou will be safe ; have confidence in His prophets and you will succeed" (2 Chron. xx. 20).

In the same sense Isaiah says to King Ahaz : '•' If you have no faith, surely you will not be safe " (Isa. vii. 9).

Also Jeremiah, speaking of Israel's disobedience to the word of God, exclaims: " T/ie faith, njlQsn is perished, and it is cut off from their mouth " (Jer. vii. 28).

The prophet Habakkuk, praying to God for an expla- nation why evil-doers succeed and prosper, receives

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the divine answer : " The righteous shall live by his faith " n^rr* injiasn pniil (Hab. ii. 4) ; and when Hosea predicts the future redemption of Israel, he tells them in the name of God, " And I will betroth thee unto me ly faith'' HJlDNn "h "|'ni:^1Sn (Hos. ii. 22).

Our teachers, the sages and rabbis, who succeeded the prophets, have been equally emphatic in commend- ing religious faith. The following are a few of their savings concerning faith :

" Great is the merit of faith. Through their faith in the Creator of the universe the Israelites were inspired by the holy spirit, and were enabled to sing praises to the Lord." " Faith in the Lord was the source of all the temporal and eternal blessings which were bestowed upon Abraham ; it gave him the enjoy- ment of this world and the world to come." " When the Psalmist says : ' This gate leads to the Lord ; righteous people (DpHIi) shall come in through it,' he denoted by the term ' righteous ' those icho possess faith in God" (Yalkut on Ex. xiv. 31).

In spite of the fact that the Torah and the prophets most emphatically declare faith r\y\'!2tk to be a very essential element in Judaism, it does not seem to have the same importance in the writings of Jewish theo- logians and philosophers, some of whom have endea- voured to substitute reasoning and logical arguments for simple faith, and to rebuild upon scientific research the religious edifice erected on the foundation of faith. The following are the utterances of the principal Jewish theologians since the close of the Talmud on the relation between faith and reason :

The Gaon Saadiah of Favvum wrote a book On

lo THE JEWISH RELIGION.

creeds and religious beliefs (/njl^SS^'lNpnyNI J^^<:Na^i JlUm). In tlie Introduction to this work the philo- sopher describes the causes of human error and doubt, and assumes four classes of believers. There are, first, those who recognise the truth found by them, cling to it, and are happy in it. There are, secondly, those who have the true principle before them, but do not recog- nise it, doubt its correctness, and abandon it again. The third class includes those who adopt an opinion witliout having recognised it as true; they mistake falsehood for truth. The last division consists of those who form no definite opinion, but remain continually in an unsettled state of mind. Saadiah is anxious to see at least his co-religionists in the first class, and his work was intended to help them towards this end.

According to Saadiah, belief or faith must be an integral part of our soul ; the various truths which form the faith are stored up in the soul as in a reposi- torj, completely ready for use whenever required. It is, however, possible that we store up opinions as true which are false. Tests must be applied to each opinion in order to ascertain its right character. Three of the tests are of a general nature, but the fourth has its force only for us, the believers in the truth of the Holy Writings. The first three tests will show us whether a certain opinion is confirmed or contradicted by our senses, by our innate ideas, or by our logical reasoning. In addition to these we possess a fourth test in the trustworthy communication (n^0^<3n mjn), i.e., the contents of Holy "Writ and Tradition. Holy Writ recognises the necessity of the three general tests, and frequently exhorts us to apply them. On

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the other hand, Saadiah is convinced tliat the con- tents of Holy Writ and Tradition are never contra- dicted, but in many cases are confirmed by these tests. Such confirmation is in reality superfluous ; but the Imman mind feels more at ease when it finds tliat the teaching of Holy Writ is supported by other proofs. Besides, attacks on the Bible come frequently from these tests, and it is therefore useful to learn how to refute them. According to Saadiah, the truth taught in the Bible can never be contradicted by the results of scientific or philosophical research.

Thus to Saadiah philosophy and science are mere ■luxuries, and cannot be considered as handmaids to the Torah. They are not studied on account of their in- trinsic value or as helps for the understanding of Holy Writ, but merely for the purpose of procuring proper weapons for theological warfare, or of superadding the conviction that what is known to us from the most trustworthy source is confirmed from other less reliable sources.

The poet and philosopher Solomon ibu Gabirol, who is lost in enthusiasm in contemplating the powers of the human soul, humbly acknowledges that it was his faith that saved him from fall and ruin. Referring to man's faculty of acquiring knowledge, he says in his "Royal Crown" /IID^.^D "IJID : "Who can comprehend Thy wisdom in giving to the soul the faculty of acquir- ing knowledge, on which her existence depends, know- ledge being her foundation ? She is permanent and immortal in the same measure as her foundation is well established." But, reflecting on human weakness, he expresses his feeling of gratitude to the Creator for His

12 THE JEn'ISH RELIGION.

sruidauce in the followincr words : " Thou hast done yet more for me. Thou hast implanted in my heart a perfect faith, so that I believe in Thee as the true God, and in Thy prophets as true prophets ;