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royal mandate, at the public expense; and that a royal circular was issued to all Jewish schools, commanding its introduction. The second is entitled, “ The Doctrines of the Mosaic Religion, by I. Johlson, teacher of religion at the Israelitish Congregational School, at Frankfort-on-the-Main ; the third genuine and improved edition. Frankfort A. M., 1829.”* Which also appears, from the preface, to have obtained the approbation of many of the civil and ecclesiastical powers, and the thanks of the German Confederation. These catechisms, then, will tell us the principles in which the Jewish youth, of an important part of Germany, are educated; and will help us to conjecture the sentiments of the next Jewish generation. A stranger jumble of palpable inconsistency was, perhaps, never presented to the public; and the approbation of such works by public authority does not lead us to form a very high estimate of the state of Hebrew learning amongst some of the divines of Germany.t These catechisms first lay down the divine authority of the Talmud; they then teach the relative duties on anti-talmudical principles; and lastly, confirm these anti-talmudic doctrines by mutilated Talmudic authorities, which, if taken with their context, prove the contrary of that which they are cited to confirm!

1. They teach the divine authority of the Talmud, or oral law. In the Bavarian catechism (page 13, question 19) we read as follows: “In what manner did Moses transmit to us the laws ?- Partly by means of the written, and partly by means of the oral law, or tradition." Page 16, question 25—“Have the Mishna and Gemara equal importance with the written law ?—Answ. Just the same. They are and must be just as important as holy Scripture, for they contain no arbitrary or human ordinances;- but ist, Divine traditions and declarations to Moses; 2ndly, Laws inferred by argumentation—i, e., according to the thirteen traditional rules of interpretation ; and, 3rdly, Ordinances of the prophets and subsequent wise men, which are, as it were, erected, round the word of God, as a wall of defence. Ali these, as having been received by the whole nation, have the same importance as holy Scripture." This is a straightforward and intelligible confession. Now let us hear the Frankfort teacher, (page 89, question 133,) “Do we also believe that Moses plainly committed every commandment and ordinance to writing ? No; we believe that God communicated some doctrines to Moses orally, which he was not allowed to communicate to others, except in the same way, orally, and so we explain the verse, (Exod. xxxiv. 27,) Write thou these words only: I for, according to the meaning and contents of the same, I make a covenant with thee and Israel.'

(134.) “ Are there not other traces of the existence of a tradition ?

Yes; many others beside-e. g., the passage, (Deut. xii. 21,) Thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, as I have commanded thee. As amongst

Die Lehren der Mosaichen Religion, &c. + Amongst the approvers of Mr. Johlson's work we find the redoubtable names of Dr. Stephani and Dr. Zimmerman.

Mr. Johılson puts in this word only, for whieh there is no authority in the original.

the written laws there is none which prescribes the mode of slaughtering, an oral doctrine must be taken for granted, to which this verse refers, and which explains this and many other commandments more accurately ;-yea, without this oral doctrine, we should know how to fulfil comparatively few of the laws of religion.(135.) “ Are there, then, two doctrines; one written and the other oral ? — No, not so; for, in reality, there is but one law, and one doctrine. Both taken together, the written and the oral, constitute but one whole.(136.)“What do we understand, then, by the oral doctrine ? — That part which more accurately explains the written laws, and determines their signification and application, in order that the latter may not be given over to the arbitrary interpretation of men, whose understanding is narrow, and often blinded by passions.” (145.) " Which are the oldest writings that treat of tradition ?- The Mishna and Gemara, which together are called the Talmud.”

Here, then, the divine authority of the oral law is as distinctly stated by the enlightened Jews of Germany, as it could have been by Rashi or Saadiah centuries ago. What difference, then, is there between the doctrines of the reformed Jews and those of the old orthodox Talmudical school ? I can discover none whatever. The old Talmudist taught nothing more, and here we see the modern Jews teach nothing less, than the divine authority of the Talmud. Their doctrines are identical, and therefore every objection which has been for centuries urged against the older system applies with equal force to the new. The Talmud still remains, as Chiarini says, the focus et ara of Judaism. The modern Jews think to get out of this difficulty by suppressing the anti-social statements, and therefore we find

II. That these catechisms teach the relative duties on anti-talmudic principles. The Bavarian catechism, after going through all the details of our duty to our neighbour, asks a question-(206) “ Are these laws and duties, affirmative and negative commandments, binding with respect to a non-Israelite ?--Answ. By all means; for the fundamental law of all these duties, ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself,' is expressly laid down by the holy Scripture, in reference to the non-Israelite; yea, to the heathen, as it is written— And if a stranger sojourn with thee in thy land, ye shall not vex him ; but the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born amongst you, and thou shalt love him as thyself: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.'” (Levit. xix. 33–35.) In like manner, the Frankfort catechism asks, (Question 209,)“ But whom does the holy Scripture call yog, niny, ox, our neighbour, our fellow-man, our brother ? Are persons of another religion included in these expressions ? Answ. By these expressions are intended not only Israelites, but all men who live with us in one state; to whatever religious denomination they may belong, or of whatever nation they may be." I admit that this is sound doctrine, but the evident attempt that is here made to smuggle it into the Talmudic system quite takes away its value. Why does the Bavarian catechisın talk of non-Israelite?


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And why does the Frankfort catechism put such a general question as

_" Are persons of another religion included ?” Why do they both avoid the plain straightforward question—“ Are Christians to be looked upon as our fellow-men, our neighbours, and our brethren ?" From what we know of Germany, we suppose that the inhabitants of Frankfort and Bavaria, not professing Judaism, are known by the common name of Christians.

Why, then, is the word Christian omitted ? I cannot suppress my conviction that it was omitted intentionally, to avoid a difficulty. By talking thus generally of nonIsraelites, and persons of another religion, they could, with some show of truth, reply in the affirmative, and adduce Scripture proof concerning “ the stranger that dwelleth among you.” Whereas if they had used the word Christian, this would have been impossible. They would have contradicted the Talmud, whose divine authority they had asserted; and given offence to all the orthodox Jews, who know that a Christian is not included in that verse; but that, according to the Talmud, he is an idolater; and therefore, neither a neighbour, a fellowman, nor a brother.

That Christians are considered as idolaters appears both from the Talmud and its compendiums. In the Talmudic treatise, “ Avodah Zarah,” (fol. 6, col. 1,) the Lord's day is expressly mentioned as an idolatrous feast, and called the Nazarene day. The “Hilchoth Accum,” c. ix. 4, says—“The Edomites are idolaters, and the first day of the week is the day of their calamity"the Talmudic expression for an idolatrous festival. In the “ Hilchoth Maachaloth Asuroth," the same plain declaration is made—“ The Nazarenes are idolaters ;” and that idolaters are not regarded as neighbours is very easy to be demonstrated. The Frankfort catechism

, , , neighbour, fellow-man, brother; and says—" By these expressions are intended not only Israelites, but all men who live with us in one state, to whatever religious denomination they may belong.” Now it is a curious circumstance that the oral law, which this same Frankfort catechism declares to be divine, specifies these three words, and decides that an idolater is not any one of the three. First, let us take you, neighbour. In the “Hilchoth Genevah," c. ii. 1., we read, “ He that steals from a Gentile, or he that steals property devoted to sacred purposes, is only to pay the principal ; for it is said, “He shall pay double unto his neighbour,' you, (Exod. xx. ii. 9) .... to his neighbour, but not to a Gentile.Next let us take mpy, fellow-man. We find it in Levit. vi. 1, &c._" If a soul sin, and lie unto his fellow

all that about which he has sworn falsely; he shall restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereunto.” On this the oral law says,“ He that sweareth to a Gentile must pay the principal, but is not bound to add the fifth part. (Why not?] Because the law prescribes this only if he lie to his fellow-man.Hi). choth Gezelah, c. i. 7. Lastly, with regard to 1x, “ brother;" when explaining the Israelite's duty if he find anything lost in the street, the oral law says, “ To restore to an Israelite anything that he has lost is an affirmative commandment, for it is said, “Thou shalt

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in any case bring them again unto thy brother, nx. Anything that a Gentile has lost it is lawful to keep; for it is said, with all lost thing of thy brother's (178).'

NO which of these two doctrines will the rising Jewish generation follow? Will they believe the compilers of these catechisms, that all men are their brethren? Or will they, on the authority of the oral law, which these same compilers tell them is divine, treat Christians as idolaters, and therefore exclude them from all the common offices of brotherhood ? But whichever doctrine they follow, can catechisms, conducted on such principles, teach them truth and honesty ? Even a dull child—and such the Jewish are not-can see that the authors are guilty of double dealing ; that they meant to deceive one party; that either they did not believe in the Talmud, but found it necessary to cajole the old orthodox Jews; or that they did believe in all the anti-social and intolerant doctrines of the Talmud, but

found it necessary to throw dust in the eyes of the Christian public. In either case, it cannot be very edifying to the minds of youth to perceive, that guile and deceit are the principles upon which the catechisms of their religion are constructed. The Bavarian catechism is, in this respect, particularly guilty. It has one subdivision headed, “ Of the Duties, referring to every human being, without any difference;” in which it enters into the detail of our duty to our neighbour, with references chiefly to the Yad Hachasakah of Maimonides, as the authority for what is said. Now, suppose that a Jewish youth looks out these references, what will he think when he finds that Maimonides restricts these duties to the Jews; and, in some cases, expressly excepts the idolater? Let us take a few instances. Question 180—“ What is commanded in the first of these duties? Answer. To spare the life of our fellow-men. We are not permitted to put to death even a beast, if its death do not promote some good, or prevent some harm: yea, we are not unnecessarily to cut down a fruit-tree; how much more are we to reverence the life of man, who is the image of God? We are, therefore, forbidden not only to take away the life of man, but the slightest injury or maiming of his body is a great sin. It is permitted to the judge alone to cause that man who has forfeited his life, by crime, to be executed.” In a parallel column, by the side of this answer, is printed a passage from Maimonides, concluding with the reference “Maimonid, Hilch. Rozeach, i. 4.

One would naturally think that this answer was a translation of the Hebrew. It is, indeed, a strong declaration against murder ; but it has not the least resemblance to the German. Literally translated, it is as follows:-“ The house of judgment (the tribunal) must beware of taking a ransom from the murderer; yea, though he were to give all the money in the world, and though the avenger of blood were willing to let him go free : for the life of the murdered person is not the property of the avenger of blood, but of the Holy One blessed be He: as it is written, · For ye shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer.' (Numb. xxxv. 31.) There is nothing about which the law is so earnest as about the shedding of blood : as it is written,

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ye shall not pollute the land where ye are; for blood it defileth the land; and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.'” (Ibid. 33.) This is a strong and beautiful passage; but it is, as the reader sees, no authority whatever for the German answer. But suppose that the youth, puzzled by the apparent want of connexion, should read on two leaves further, he will find a passage directly contradicting the last sentence, which says, “ It is permitted to the judge alone to cause that man who has forfeited his life, by crime, to be executed.” On the next leaf but two, Maimonides not only permits, but commands, every Israelite to kill, either by force or by fraud, those criminals of the Jews whom he calls “ Epicureans, Israelite idolaters, and vexers.” And if he should perchance turn back a single leaf, he will find that“ It is lawful, by all means, to kill the informer; yea, even in the present time, when we do not give judgment in cases involving capital punishment. It is lawful to kill him before he gives the information: as soon as he says I am going to inform against either the person or the property of such a person, he makes it lawful to kill him. He is to be warned and told not to give information ; but if he be obstinate, and say “No,'but I will inform against him,' it is a commandment to kill him; and he that is foremost to kill him, is considered as meritorious.” What, then, is the youth to do now? Is he to follow the German answer, or the Hebrew authority to which he is referred ? The latter he is told is the law of God; the former he perceives can only be either an opinion, or advice, or even a device, to evade the law of the land. The compilers of this catechism are guilty of a gross dereliction of duty. So important a matter as this, involving the lives of fellow-creatures, should not be thus slurred over. It was their bounden duty, when they restricted the power of capital punishment to the judge, to notice these two cases, occurring within a leaf or two of the authority to which they refer: they should either have solemnly declared that they abjure this doctrine; or, if they think this command to murder Epicureans and informers binding, as a part of the divine oral law, they should here have honestly stated this their belief, especially when they offered the catechism for royal sanction.

But does this authority from Maimonides teach the Jewish youth “ to spare the life of our fellow-man,” whether he be Jew or Gentile ? In the Hebrew passage, as above translated, there is not any direct mention of either, though the notice of “the avenger of blood” would naturally lead us to think that Maimonides was speaking of an Israelite. Let us look, then, at the context. The first sentence of the chapter is—« Every one that killeth any human soul of Israel, transgresses a negative command; for it is said, “ Thou shalt not kill.' After this beginning, the chapter speaks exclusively of the duty to Israelites; and concludes with this remarkable sentence:-“ Every one who destroys one soul of Israel is as (guilty) as if he destroyed the whole world; and every one who preserves one soul of Israel is as (meritorious) as if he preserved the whole world.” This reference, then, does not prescribe anything respecting our duty to our


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