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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tanukkah

TAkkANAH By : Wilhelm Bacher Schulim Ochser

ARTICLE HEADINGS:
Takkanot of Moses, Solomon, and Others.
Takkanot of Ezra.
Takkanot of Simeon ben Shetah.
Priestly Ordinances.
Takkanot of Johanan ben Zakkai.
Ordinances of the Last Tannaim.
Ordinances "for the Sake of Peace."
Business Takkanot.
Ordinances on the Oath.
Post-Mishnaic Ordinances.
Geonic Takkanot.
Takkanot of R. Gershom.
Takkanot of Synods.

An enactment which (1) revises an ordinance that no longer satisfies the requirements of the times or circumstances, or which (2), being deduced from a Biblical passage, may be regarded as new. It is, therefore, the antithesis of the Gezerah. Takkanotwere framed even in the time of the Second Temple, those of unknown origin being ascribed to earlier leaders, and they have been promulgated at all subsequent periods of Jewish history. The term is applied also to the institution provided for in the enactment.

Among the earlier takkanot are especially noteworthy the institutions ascribed to Moses (see also Sinaitic Commandments): (1) the observance on holy days of the ceremonies peculiar to the festivals in question (Meg. 32a; comp. Tosef., Meg. vii.); (2) reading aloud from the Torah on the Sabbath, on holy days, on New Moons, and on the semifestivals (Meg. 28a; Yer. Meg. iv. 1); (3) the first blessing in the grace after meals (Ber. 48b); (4) the eight watches of the priests, four by Eleazar and four by Ithamar, which Samuel and David increased to twenty-four (Ta'an. 27a); (5) the seven days of wedding festivities for a virgin, and seven days of mourning for the dead (the festivities for a widow's wedding were later ordained to last three days; Yer. Ket. i. 1; comp. Ket. 3a, b). Other takkanot were ascribed as follows:

To Joshua: (1) the second blessing in the grace after meals (Ber. 48b); (2) ten regulations which, however, are not takkanot in the strict sense of the term (B. k. 80b, 81b, 114a; Tosef., B. M. xi.; comp. Bloch, "Institutionen des Judenthums," i. 54-68).

To Boaz, the ancestor of David: the salutation in the name of God (Ber. 54a).

To David: (1) increase of the eight watches of the priests to twenty-four (see above); (2) the recitation of a hundred benedictions daily (Num. R. xviii., but comp. Men. 43b); (3) the third blessing in the grace after meals (Ber. 48b).

Takkanot of Moses, Solomon, and Others.

To Solomon: (1) the practise regarding the 'Erub (Shab. 14b; 'Er. 21a; Yalk., Cant. 23); (2) the washing of the hands before kiddush, which Shammai and Hillel made obligatory for Terumah as well, while later authorities extended it to still other occasions (Shab. 14b; 'Er. 21b); (3) the regulation regarding entrance upon another's fields after the harvest (possibly enacted by Joshua also; B. k. 80b).

To the Earlier Prophets: (1) the singing of Hallel on every important occasion, and especially after escape from danger (Pes. 117a); (2) the introduction of twenty-four divisions of laymen, corresponding to the twenty-four watches of the priests (Ta'an. 27a).

To the Prophets before the destruction of the Temple: (1) the payment of terumah and tithes in Babylon as well as in Palestine (Yad. iv. 3); (2) the payment of the second tithe ("ma'aser sheni") in the seventh year (ib.); (3) payment of it in Egypt, Ammon, and Moab likewise (ib.); (4) payment of the tithe for the poor ("ma'aser 'ani") even in the seventh year (ib.).

To the Prophets after the destruction of the Temple: fasting on the Seventh of Tammuz, Ninth or Ab, First of Tishri, and Tenth of tebet ("Yede Eliyahu," ed. Constantinople, 1728, xl. 14).

Takkanot of Ezra.

To Ezra: (1) the reading of ten verses of the Torah by three men on Monday and Thursday (Men. 82a); (2) the reading of Lev. xxxiii. 14-46 before the Passover, and of Deut. xxvii. 15-69 before New-Year (Meg. 31b); (3) sessions of the courts on Monday and Thursday (B. k. 82a); (4) the washing of clothes on Thursday (ib.); (5) the eating of garlic on Friday (ib.); (6) early rising on Friday morning for the purpose of baking (ib.); (7) the wearing of a girdle by women for reasons of modesty (ib.); (8) the obligation of the ritual bath (ib.); (9) the regulation obliging pedlers to traverse the city in case they deal in articles necessary for women (ib.); (10) ritual baths for those who have become unclean (ib.).

To the 120 elders, including the Prophets (the "men of the Great Sanhedrin"): (1) the recitation of the "Shemoneh 'Esreh" on week-days; (2) the insertion of the prayer against heretics in the time of Gamaliel, and, much later, of the "Adonai Sefatai" before the "Tefillah," and of the "Yiheyu le-RaZon" after it (Meg. 17b).

To Ezra and his court: the use of the words "min ha-'olam we-'ad ha-'olam" as the conclusion of the blessings in the morning prayer.

To the "men of the Great Synagogue": (1) the reading of Megillat Esther in the villages and unwalled cities on the Fourteenth of Adar and in walled cities on the following day; banquets on those days; and the giving of alms (Meg. 2a); (2) the introduction of seven blessings into the "Tefillah" on the Sabbath and on holy days; the addition of nine benedictions to the musaf for the New Moon and for the semifestivals, and of twenty-four on fast-days (Ber. 33a); (3, a) recitation of a number of prayers, (b) period of duration of each prayer, (c) the offering of prayer daily, (d) three times on week-days, (e) four times on the Sabbath, festivals, fasts, and New Moons, and (f) five times on the Day of Atonement; later addition of the "Magen Abot" from the "Tefillah" on Friday evening, and the genuflection before and after the first blessing ("Abot") and before and after the penultimate "hoda'ah" (Ber. 26b); (4) introduction of Benediction, prayer, kiddush, and Haddalah (Ber. 33a).

To John Hyrcanus (135-106 B.C.): (1) decree forbidding the recitation of the prayer of thanksgiving, "Widdui Ma'aser" (Deut. xxvi. 5-10), by any who have not paid the proper tithes at the end of the third year (Yer. Sotah ix. 11); (2) the appointment of officials to collect the tithes (Tosef., Sotah, xiii.; Ma'as. Sh. v. 16); (3) the use of rings in the shambles to force the animals to stand still (Sotah 47a); (4) prohibition of blacksmithing on semifestivals (ib.; M. k. 11a).

In his "Hodegetica in Mischnam" Frankel considers the first generation of the Tannaim as the true period of the takkanot; but only a few of the extant ordinances of this period are ascribed to Simeon b. Shetah or to John Hyrcanus, the remainder being attributed to the court of the Hasmoneans or to the "court of the priests." The following ordinances were instituted in the first century B.C.:

By the court of the Hasmoneans: (1) the solemn celebration of the hanukkah festival, beginning on the 25th of Kislew (Meg. Ta'an.; Shab. 21b); (2) insertion of the name of God in legal documents (R. H. 18b; subsequently abrogated).By the court of the priests: (1) the daughter of a priest to be entitled to 300 zuzim under her marriage contract, and the widow of a priest to 100 zuzim (Ket. 12a); (2) the ketubah of a woman about to contract a levirate marriage to form a lien on the property of her first husband; and if he had no property, that of the levir to be appropriated (Yeb. 39a; Ket. 82b); (3) the ketubah of a virgin to be of the value of 200 zuzim, and that of a widow or divorcée, 100 zuzim (Ket. 10a).

Takkanot of Simeon ben Shetah.

By Simeon b. Shetah: (1) all the real estate of the husband to be entered in the marriage contract in favor of the wife (Shab. 14b; Ket. viii., end), but the former may employ the dowry in his business; (2) compulsory attendance at school (ib.); (3) the declaration that foreign glass is impure (ib.).

By Hillel (75 B.C.-5 C.E.): (1) introduction of the Prosbul (Sheb. x. 3, 4; Git. 36a); (2) the purchase-money of a house to be deposited in the Temple; the original owner may seize it by force in order to prevent its payment to the seller before the expiration of a year ('Ar. 31b; Git. 74b).

By Gamaliel I. (middle of 1st cent.): (1) the condemnation of 2,000 (subsequently increased) ells of ground in which the New Moon witnesses might freely move on the Sabbath (R. H. 23b); (2) the full names of the husband and the wife to be inserted in a bill of divorce (Git. 34b); (3) the signatures of witnesses to the bill of divorce (ib.); (4) a widow may take the portion secured to her by her marriage contract only after all claims of the orphans have been fully satisfied (ib.); (5) a bill of divorce may be declared invalid only in the presence of the messenger who has brought it, or in the presence of the wife before she has received it (Git, 32a).

The following takkanot date from the last century before the common era and the first century of that era:

Priestly Ordinances.

Enactments concerning the priestly office: (1) the casting of lots by the priests for taking the ashes from the altar (Yoma 21a); (2) the exact determination of the time of the daily sacrifice (Pes. 58a); (3) the festal sacrifice ("hagigah") on the day of the Passover (Pes. 69b); (4) the distribution of the skins of the sacrificial victims (Tosef., Yeb. xi.); (5) the expense of the drink-offerings to be defrayed by the communal treasury from the "lishkah" (Shek. vii. 4, 5); (6) the same ordinance for the sacrifice by a Gentile (ib. vii. 6); (7) the same for a dead proselyte (ib.); (8) in case of the death of a high priest, his sacrifice to be offered at the expense of the community (ib.); (9) the priestly usufructs of the salt and wood given to the Temple (ib.); (10) abrogation of the sacrifice for the use of the ashes of the red heifer (Men. 51b); (11) a pair of doves which have become unfit for sacrifice to be replaced at the expense of the community (Shek. vii. 7); (12) those who guard the after-growth in the fields during the Sabbatical year to receive their wages from the "terumat ha-lishkah" (Shek. iv. 1; B. M. 118b; Men. 84a); (13) the priest who burns the red heifer becomes unclean (Parah iii. 7), and (14) must pass the period of his uncleanness in a certain hall of the Temple (ib. iii. 1); (15) the mezuzah at the door of the antechamber in which the priest spends the time before the Day of Atonement (Yoma 10a); (16) promulgation of rules concerning the shekels on the First of Adar (Ex. xxx. 11 et seq.); the reading on New Moon in case it falls on a Sabbath (Ex. xxx. 11; Shek. i. 1); (17) exhortation to caution against sowing mixed seed (Shek. i. 1); (18) men must be sent on the Fifteenth of Adar to repair the public highways, grounds, and cisterns, to repaint tombstones, and to perform similar duties (ib.); (19) each man must have the "widdui bikkurim" (see Deut. xxvi. 3) recited, or repeat it himself, in the presence of the person whom it concerns (Bik. iii. 7); (20) double separation of the hallah, once for the heave-offering and once for the priest (hal. iv. 8); (21) for this purpose a housewife gives one part in twenty-four, and a baker one in forty-eight (hal. ii. 7); (22) the great heave-offering, when given by a generous person, amounts to one part in forty; when given by an avaricious man, to one in sixty; and when given by one who is neither, to one part in fifty (Ter. iv. 3); (23) an ox, corresponding in value to the terumah, may be brought to the priest (hal. 134b); (24) every one must have the Lulab in the house on the first day of Sukkot, in case this festival falls on a Sabbath (Suk. 42); (25) the lulab and the "'arabah" preponderate in the Temple on the Sabbath in case that day coincides with the seventh or last day of Sukkot (Suk. 42b); (26) testimony relating to the New Moon may be received only from those who are properly qualified (R. H. 22a); (27) the reading of Ex. xxx. 11, Deut. xxv. 18, Num. xix. 1, and Ex. xii. 1 on the four special Sabbaths before the Passover; (28) regulations governing the reading of the Torah (Meg. 21a); (29) permission to import vegetables in the Sabbatical year (Sheb. vi. 4); (30) concerning the collection of wood and stones in a neighbor's field.

Ordinance ascribed to Joshua b. Gamla (c. 65 C.E.); appointment of teachers in all the cities of Judea for children between six and seven years of age (B. B. 21a).

Takkanot of Johanan ben Zakkai.

Most of the ordinances of Johanan b. Zakkai were promulgated before the time of the destruction of the Temple, and were consequently modified after the year 70. Frankel enumerates eleven of these decrees in his "Hodegetica," although Bloch lists nine only (comp. R. H. 31b), which are as follows: (1) the New Moon witnesses must go to the place where the court assembles (R. H. 31b); (2) the testimony of such witnesses to be received at any time during the day (ib. 30b); (3) they may not desecrate the Sabbath by traveling, except in Nisan and Tishri, the most important two months (ib. 21b): (4) the shofar to be blown even on the Sabbath (R. H. 29b); (5) the lulab to be swung on all the seven days of the festival (ib. 30a); (6) the consumption of new grain is forbidden during the entire day of the waving of the 'Omer (ib.); (7) priests may not wear sandals when they ascend the "dukan," or platform, to pronounce the benediction (Sotah 40a; R. H. 31b); (8) a proselyte must deposit a quarter-shekel in the treasury to be able to bring his sacrifice when the Temple shall be rebuilt(this was repealed by Johanan b. Zakkai himself; Ker. 9a; R. H. 31b); (9) abolition of the ritual governing trials for adultery (Sotah 47a).

Ordinance ascribed to Gamaliel II. and the court of Jabneh: agriculture is permitted until the first day of the Sabbatical year (Tosef., Sheb. i.).

Takkanah ascribed to the court of Jabneh: the fourth benediction in the grace after meals in memory of those who fell at Bethar (Ber. 48b).

After R. Gamaliel's death the Sanhedrin of Jabneh seems to have gone to Usha (the modern AlUs) for reasons which are no longer known, and the grounds of its takkanot are equally obscure. In view of their ethical import, however, these enactments soon became binding. They were as follows: (1) a man must support his minor children; (2) if a man transfers his property to his sons, both he and his wife enjoy a life income from it; (3) the gift of more than one-fifth of one's property for alms is forbidden; (4) a father must deal gently with his son until the latter reaches the age of twelve; but after that age he may be severe with him; (5) after a wife's death the husband may sell the property included in her dowry; (6) one who attacks an old man must pay one pound of gold for the injury; (7) elucidation of the seven doubtful reasons through which the terumah becomes unfit for use and must be burned (Ket. 49a, 50b; Yer. Ket. iv. 28b; M. k. 17a; Yer. M. k. iii. 8; Shab. 15b). These ordinances were enacted by the rabbis of the second generation of tannaim, R. Ishmael being especially mentioned (B. B. 28b; Niddah 14b).

An ordinance is also extant which dates from the time called the period of religious persecution ("shemad"). When Hadrian issued his decree forbidding the Jews to observe their religion, the teachers, including R. Akiba, R. tarfon, and R. Jose the Galilean, met in council and agreed that during the time of the persecution the Law might be transgressed in all respects, except as regarded the commands relating to idolatry, chastity, and morality, although this regulation was observed only superficially and only when necessary in order to deceive the Roman spies.

Three ordinances have been preserved which were promulgated by R. Jose b. halafta of Sepphoris, of the third generation of tannaim, who flourished about the middle of the second century. They are as follows: (1) during a funeral the mourners must remain standing while those who console them pass by (Sanh. 19a); (2) women living in lonely places must associate with one another, so as not to attract the attention and evil desire of any man (ib.); (3) a child accompanied by its mother must not lag behind on the road, lest it come to harm (ib.).

Ordinances of the Last Tannaim.

The following ordinances are ascribed to the last generation of tannaim (end of the second and beginning of the third century): To R. Judah I., ha-Nasi: (1) messengers must be sent every month to announce the new moon to the Diaspora (R. H. 22b); (2) concerning the purchase of fields among the Sicarii (Git. 55b); (3) on menstruation (Niddah 66a).

Ordinances from the period of the Mishnah and relating to women are as follows: (1) an orphan girl married during her minority may leave her husband without a bill of divorce on attaining her majority (Ket. 46b); (2) the permission to marry a feebleminded girl (Yeb. 112b); (3) a virgin should be married on a Wednesday (Ket. 1a); (4) various laws of purification (Niddah 11a); (5) the earnings of the wife belong to her husband (Ket. 46a); (6) the husband must pay all bills for his wife's illness (Ket. 51a); (7) a husband must ransom his wife from captivity (ib. 76b); (8) a husband must defray the expenses of his wife's burial (ib. 76a); (9) whatever is found by the wife belongs to her husband (B. M. 12a); (10) a widow is entitled to remain in the house of her deceased husband and to share in the income (ib. 52b); (11) orphan girls share the income from their father's estate until they reach their majority (ib. 52b); (12) male heirs succeed to the property of the mother, even after their father's death (ib. 52b); (13) the daughter is entitled to a certain portion of her father's estate as her dowry (ib. 67a); (14) a bill of divorce must be written and signed in the presence of the messenger who is to deliver it (Git. i. 1); (15) the date must be given in all legal documents (ib. 17a); (16) in a bill of divorce the date must be given according to the state calendar (Git. 79b; later it was also dated according to the era of Creation); (17) witnesses must sign a bill of divorce in the presence of each other (ib. 10a); (18) introduction of the "get mekushshar" to make divorce more difficult (B. B. 160a); (18) a woman becomes free even though only a single witness testifies to her husband's death (Yeb. 87b).

Ordinances "for the Sake of Peace."

The more the Jews came in contact with the Romans and the Persians, the more they were obliged to modify the letter of their laws, and to introduce ordinances of the class characterized as necessary (a) "for the preservation of the order of the world," or (b) "for the sake of peace." The regulations of this type, like those already mentioned, date from the mishnaic period, and were promulgated for the sake of morality. In addition, there were other takkanot designed (c) to facilitate repentance and (d) to contribute to "the interests of the market" or of business.

(a) Takkanot "for the preservation of the order of the world":

(1) a servant who is half free may compel his master to manumit him entirely; but he must give a note for one-half his value; and this debt must be paid (Git. 41a);

(2) the ransom paid for prisoners must not exceed the usual sum (ib. 45i);

(3) prisoners must not be allowed to escape (ib.);

(4) phylacteries and other sacred articles must not be taken from any who are not Gentiles (ib.);

(5) if land in Palestine is sold to a Gentile, the first-fruits must be forfeited (ib. 47a);

(6) if one divorces his wife for immorality, he may never take her back again (ib. 45a);

(7) on demand, one who has suffered injury is to receive reimbursement from the best of the estate; a creditor, from the medium; and a wife, with her marriage contract as security, from the worst (ib. 48b);

(8) if there is any property without encumbrance, nothing may be taken in payment of a debt from a field which has been mortgaged (ib.);

(9) the least desirable portion of the real estate of orphans may be taken in payment of debts (ib.);

(10) mortgaged property may not be applied to the pleasure or support of the wife (ib.);

(11) one who finds anything shall not take an oath (ib.);

(12) a guardian may not be compelled to take an oath (ib. 52a);

(13) accidental defilement of holy vessels either by a layman or by the priest in the Temple is punishable (ib. 52b).

(b) Ordinances "for the sake of peace":

(1) the call to the reading of the Law to be made in a definite order (Git. 59a);

(2) the "'erub" may be arranged even with unoccupied houses (ib.);

(3) the cistern nearest the river is to be filled first (ib.);

(4) hunting includes robbery (ib. 59b);

(5) things found in the possession of one to whom they would not normally come imply theft (ib.);

(6) the poor are permitted to pluck fruit from a neighbor's tree, but taking what remains on the ground is theft (ib.);

(7) even the Gentile may share in the harvest gifts to the poor (ib.).

(c) Ordinances facilitating repentance:

(1) one who steals a beam and builds it into his house need pay for the damage to the beam only (Git. 55a);

(2) if a robber or a usurer wishes to restore goods or money taken, they or it shall not be accepted (ib.);

(3) purchase and sale by persons not regularly dealing in the wares in question are valid, in case such persons have reached years of maturity, in order that they may support themselves (Git. 59a);

(4) if one brings a stolen animal as a sin-offering before the theft is known, the sacrifice is valid (ib. 55a).

(d) Takkanah in "the interests of the market" or of business: if one unwittingly purchases stolen goods, the owner must refund the money paid for them (B. k. 114b).

Business Takkanot.

Ordinances relating to legal proceedings, like those which governed the religious life, were highly important so long as the Jews retained their own judicial system in the Diaspora. These regulations fall, according to Bloch (l.c.), into three categories: ordinances relating (a) to commerce; (b) to civil law; and (c) to the oath.

(a) Ordinances relating to commerce:

(1) it is permissible to take possession of real estate under certain conditions (B. M. 10a, b);

(2) movables may be acquired only by actual possession, not by purchase (ib. 44a);

(3) movables when together with immovables are acquired by purchase or contract (kid. 26a);

(4) acquisition by a verbal conveyance of the three parties concerned is legal (Git. 13b; kid. 48a; this is not, however, expressly declared to be an ordinance);

(5) a verbal conveyance of property by one who is moribund is legally binding (B. k. 146b);

(6) a proselyte may be the heir of a Gentile father (kid. 17b); even before taking possession a son may dispose of a part of his deceased father's property to defray the funeral expenses (B. M. 16a; Tosef., Ned. vi.).

(b) Ordinances relating to civil law:

(1) in actions for debt testimony may be accepted without further investigations (Sanh. 3a, 32a);

(2) actions for debt may be tried even by judges who have not yet received the "semikah" (ordination; Sanh., beginning);

(3) a contract may be authenticated only by the witnesses who have signed it (Ket. 18b);

(4) on the strength of his contract a creditor may collect his debts either from the heirs or from those who purchase from the debtor (B. B. 176a).

Ordinances on the Oath.

(c) Ordinances relating to the oath:

(1) if a laborer demands his wages and his employer asserts that he has paid them, the former must take an oath before he can obtain payment (Shebu. 44b);

(2) one who has been robbed must take an oath before he can recover his property (ib. 44b);

(3) one who asserts that he has been injured by another person must take an oath before he can recover damages (ib.);

(4) if a manager asserts that he has paid an employee, and the latter denies it, both parties take the oath, and the employer pays them both (ib);

(5) if a contract is falsified by the wife or by the creditor, they must each take an oath before they can receive payment (Ket. 87a);

(6) if an employer has only one witness to testify to the payment of a contract, the claimants must take an oath before they can receive their money (Ket. 97a);

(7) money due from the property of orphans may be paid only under oath (ib. 87a);

(8) the payment of debts from mortgaged property may be made only under oath (ib.);

(9) payment in the absence of the debtor may be made only under oath (ib.);

(10) liquidation of a debt by means of property dedicated to the sanctuary may be made only under oath (Shebu. 42b);

(11) expenses incurred in behalf of the wife's property may be recovered only under oath (Ket. 79b);

(12) if two parties each claim to have received the same piece of property at the same time, they must take oath to that effect (B. M. 2a);

(13) if one asserts that a piece of property entrusted to him has been stolen from him, he must take an oath to that effect (B. M. 34b);

(14) one who has unwittingly purchased stolen property must take an oath before he can recover his money (B. k. 114b);

(15) if one has unintentionally damaged the property of another, he must take an oath to that effect before he can be released from the payment of damages (B. M. 82b).

Other ordinances dating from the mishnaic period were as follows: Ordinances relating to the Passover: (1) leaven must be sought with a light on the eve of the 13th of Nisan (Pes. 2a); (2) on Passover eve bitter herbs, mixed with "haroset," must be eaten (ib. 120a); (3) four cups of wine must be drunk (ib. 99b); (4) those who partake must recline while eating, in token of freedom (ib.).

Miscellaneous ordinances: (1) if a Sabbath follows a holy day, an "'erub tabshilin" is made in order that food for the Sabbath may be prepared on the holy day (BeZah 15b); (2) on the Sabbath and on holy days one may move freely within a radius of 2,000 cubits ('Er. 49b); (3) the owner of lost property must bring witnesses to testify that he is not dishonest, and he must then describe his property before he is entitled to recover it (B. M. 28b); (4) lost articles to be announced in the synagogue (ib. 28a).

Post-Mishnaic Ordinances.

The privilege of making new ordinances did not end with the completion of the Mishnah: enactments were promulgated also in the amoraic, saboraic, and geonic periods, although their exact dates are no longer known. The post-mishnaic ordinances which belong in this category are as follows: (1) the dowry of a wife and the movables of orphans may be taken in payment of debt (comp. Mordecai onKet. 10; Maimonides, "Yad," Ishut, 15); (2) movables may be attached for the dowry of orphan girls (tur Eben ha-'Ezer, 112, 113); (3) an oath is valid in cases involving real estate ("Halakot Gedolot," xxii.); (4) no oath may be taken on the Bible ("Sha'are Zedek," v. 4, § 22); (5) criminal cases may be tried in Babylon (ib. iv. 1, § 62); (6) the property of orphans may be taken for the marriage portion of the wife ("hemdah Genuzah," p. 60a); (7) the debtor must take an oath if he is unable to pay (tur hoshen Mishpat, 61, 2); (8) the debtor must take an oath if he has obliged the creditor to do so (ib. 87); (9) a widow is obliged to take an oath only in case the property bequeathed to her by her husband is insufficient to discharge her marriage contract ("Sha'are Zedek," iv. 59); (10) in legal trials both the principals and the witnesses must remain seated (Maimonides, "Yad," Sanhedrin, xxi. 5); (11) Mohammedan wine is not "issur" (responsa, "Ge'onim kadmonim," xlvi.); (12) the priest to be the first one called up to the reading of the Law, he preceding even the nasi (tur Orah hayyim, 135); (13) permission to trade with Gentiles on their holy days (tur Yoreh De'ah, 149); (14) the fast-day on the Thirteenth of Adar (Abudarham, ed. Prague, p. 78d); (15) an apostate may draw up a bill of divorce ("hemdah Genuzah," li., lxxxvi.); (16) if a Samaritan betroths a Jewess, she must have a bill of divorce before any one else can marry her (tur Eben ha-'Ezer, 44); (17) the passage Ex. xxxii. 11-14 must be read on fast-days ("hemdah Genuzah," iv.; Masseket Soferim xvii.; Meg. 31b; Tosef., Ber. xix.); (18) the interruption of the first and last three benedictions of the "Tefillah" by the supplications ("hemdah Genuzah," cxii.; "Halakot Gedolot," p. 9a); (19) the recitation of the morning benediction in the synagogue (tur Orah hayyim, 46); (20) the recitation of the prayer "Ahabah Rabbah" in the morning and of "Ahabat 'Olam" in the evening ("hemdah Genuzah," cxxv.); (21) the recitation of the Biblical passage "Praised be the Lord in eternity, Amen and Amen" (Ps. xli. 13) in the daily evening prayer before the "Tefillah" (tur Orah hayyim, 236); (22) the insertion of the passage I Chron. xxix. 10-13 in the morning prayer (ib. 51); (23) the recitation of the "Shema'" in the "kedushshah" (Abudarham, p. 53c); (24) introduction of the prayer beginning with the words in the "kedushshah" of the musaf, and the prayers beginning with the words and in the "kedushshah" of the Shaharit Tefillah of Sabbath (tur Orah hayyim, 221); (25) the recitation of Ps. cxix. 142 at the Minhah prayer on the Sabbath, in memory of the death of Moses (ib. 292); (26) the benediction for the bridal night (Abudarham, p. 115a); (27) "Parashat ha-Musafim" (tur Orah hayyim, 283).

The following are ordinances of the ninth century, chiefly directed, according to Weiss, against Karaite teachings: (1) the benediction when the Sabbath candles are lit (earliest source of the "Siddur Rab 'Amram"; Maimonides, "Yad," Shab. v.; ROSH on Shab. ii., § 18); (2) the counting of the "'omer" in the evening ("Halakot Gedolot," p. 101c); (3) the ring in the marriage ceremony ("Sha'are Zedek," i. 3, §§ 12, 16); (4) the Mishnah "Ezehu Mekoman" in the morning prayer (tur Orah hayyim, 50).

Geonic Takkanot.

Only the following five ordinances, so far as known, bear the name of a gaon: (1) of Rab Rabbah of Pumbedita and R. Huna of Sura (7th cent.): if a woman demands a bill of divorce, it must be drawn up for her immediately (Weiss, "Dor," iv. 5, 9, 37; "Sha'are Zedek," iv. 4, § 15); (2) of R. Huna at Pumbedita and Mar Rab Bibai of Sura (8th cent.): a debt and a marriage portion may be recovered even from the property of orphans (ib. iv. 28, 37, 41, 45); (3) of Mar Rab Zadok of Sura (9th cent.): in suits relating to real estate the defendant must take an oath (controverting Shebu. 45a; Weiss, l.c. pp. 43, 123); (4) of R. Nahshon of Sura (end of 9th cent.): the introduction of "Amen" before the "Tefillah" ("Seder ha-Eshkol," ed. Halberstadt, 1867, i. 9; Weiss, l.c. p. 124); (5) of Hananiah b. Judah of Pumbedita (1000): abrogation of the "ketubat benin dikrin" ("Sha'are Zedek," iv. 4, 17; Weiss, l.c. pp. 162, 203).

Takkanot of R. Gershom.

Although the succeeding ordinances belong to the same period, their place of origin is Europe instead of the East. The first to promulgate enactments in Europe was R. Gershom; and, while it is no longer possible to determine how many rules he authorized, their number was doubtless considerable, since the renewal of old takkanot in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries seems to have been due to him. The following ten ordinances by Gershom are found in a manuscript in the possession of N. Brüll: (1) one who wittingly enters a thoroughfare against the orders of the court is liable to punishment; (2) the prohibition of bigamy; (3) respect for the privacy of letters; (4) services in the synagogue must not be interrupted on account of a quarrel; (5) the owner of a synagogue may not refuse admission to any one on the score of a personal grievance; (6) services may be interrupted to search for a lost object, and he who finds it without reporting the fact is liable to excommunication; (7) a majority may refuse to obey a regulation of the communal directors only with the consent of the court; (8) property held in trust may not be retained maliciously; (9) no case may be carried before a secular court except one involving heavy damages; (10) a divorce may not be forced upon a woman (comp. Meïr of Rothenburg, Responsa, p. 111d; "Kol Bo," ed. Fürth, Appendix, 1a).

The following takkanot also are ascribed to R. Gershom: (1) no one ought to leave the synagogue if only ten are present; but if one should leave, the service may be continued; (2) a Jew is forbidden to rent to another Jew who lives with a Gentile; (3) if absence or poverty renders it impossible for a man to support his wife, the community must provide for her; (4) in case of an altercation with serious consequences, both parties are liable to punishment; and if one of them falls ill a second time in consequence of the brawl, he may bring the matter into court; (5) one who is summoned to court by a messengermust attend (Meïr of Rothenburg, l.c. pp. 112d-113a).

Takkanot of Synods.

During the twelfth century rabbinical synods were convened for the first time in the post-Talmudic period in the chief cities where fairs were held. The object of these synods was to promulgate new ordinances as circumstances required and to harmonize Talmud law with the conditions obtaining in Christian Europe, from a religious, legal, and moral point of view. R. Tam seems to have acted as the chairman of several synods, although the precise ones over which he presided are uncertain. The chief scholars mentioned as members of these bodies were RaSHBaM, Isaac b. Solomon of Sens, Solomon b. Jacob of Auxerre, Isaac b. Nehemiah of Drôme, and Menahem b. Perez of Joigny. Seven ordinances are ascribed to these conventions, although their exact provenience is no longer known. One of the earliest of the enactments seems to have been that governing commercial relations with Christians, which was promulgated as a result of the persecutions during the Second Crusade. The ordinances in question are as follows: (1) no Jew may purchase crucifixes, ecclesiastical vessels, vestments, ornaments, or prayer-books; (2) cases may be tried in the national court only with the mutual consent of plaintiffs and defendants; (3) if the case of either party has been prejudiced by this procedure, the plaintiff must make amends according to the judgment of the seven directors of the community; (4) no one may accept an appointment from the government; (5) if a wife dies within a year of her marriage, her husband must return her dowry; (6) if the dowry was payable at a later date, the husband has no claims upon it; (7) a bill of divorce, when once drawn up, may not be questioned or criticized ("Kol Bo," ed. Fürth, 1782, § 117; "Sefer ha-Yashar," No. 579; Grätz, "Gesch." [Hebr. ed.] iv. 235-236).

When the representatives of the Jews convened at Mayence in the early part of the thirteenth century (1220 or 1223) to regulate the taxes and imposts to be paid to the emperor, they promulgated new ordinances which were accepted throughout Judaism, and they also revised earlier enactments. Among the members of the first synod were David b. Kalonymus of Münzenberg, Baruch b. Samuel of Mayence, Hezekiah b. Reuben of Boppard, Simhah b. Samuel of Speyer, Eliezer b. Joel ha-Levi of Cologne, and Eleazar b. Judah of Worms. These ordinances have been preserved under the name of "takkanot Shum" ( = Speyer, Worms, and Mayence), and are indicative of the status of the German Jews of the period. Six of the enactments may be ascribed with some degree of certainty to the first synod, and are as follows: (1) no Jew should be guilty of bad faith toward a Christian, or of counterfeiting; (2) one who has caused harm by lodging information must make amends for it; (3) court Jews are not to be exempt from the communal taxes; (4) quiet and devotion must rule in the synagogue; (5) a brother-in-law must enter upon the levirate marriage without raising any objections; (6) controversies must be decided by the rabbis of Mayence, Speyer, and Worms (Meïr of Rothenburg, l.c. p. 112a; Moses Minz, Responsa, No. 202; Luria, "Yam shel Shelomoh" on Yeb. iv., No. 18).

In 1245 in one of these same three cities another synod of rabbis convened, at which David b. Shaltiel, Isaac b. Abraham, and Joseph b. Moses ha-Kohen were present. The ordinances of the earlier synod were confirmed, and two new ones were promulgated: (1) the rabbi may not excommunicate any one without the consent of the community, nor may the congregation do so against the will of the rabbi; (2) if rabbis from other cities should endeavor to induce a local rabbi to excommunicate any person, the must refuse to do so unless he gains the consent of the community concerned (Meïr of Rothenburg, l.c. end; Moses Minz, l.c. No. 102, p. 153b).

The German rabbis again assembled at the time of the Black Death, to renew the ancient ordinances, their enactments referring chiefly to the dissolution of levirate marriages and to the division of an estate between the widow and the levir. Other synods convened toward the end of the fourteenth century (at Weissenfels) and in the middle of the fifteenth century (at Nuremberg and Bingen), but no record of their ordinances has been preserved. A single takkanah by Jacob Weil, however, is extant, and reads thus: "The following is one of the many enactments which we have promulgated at Nuremberg: if one of the two parties wishes to use the German language in court, the other party must do likewise" (Weil, Responsa, No. 101). The ordinances which Seligman Oppenheim issued at the Bingen synod were originally intended to be enforced only in the district of the lower Rhine; and when he attempted to enforce them for the upper Rhine, a controversy resulted which destroyed the permanent validity of his enactments.

To these synods must be ascribed also the following ordinances of uncertain date which have been preserved under the name "takkanot ha-kehillot me-ashkenaz": (1) no Jew may wear a garment or cuffs after the Christian fashion, nor may he have his beard cut with a razor; (2) no wine made by Christians may be used by Jews; (3) no Jew may cause a jar to be filled with water by a non-Jew on the Sabbath; (4) a Jew may not gamble with a Christian; (5) the punishment of guilt by solitary confinement in an apartment of the synagogue in enjoined; (6) entertainments and banquets are prohibited; (7) Jews who were recipients of charity had to give tithes of same; (8) all persons must wear the "kittel" in the synagogue; (9) the margins of a book must not be cut (Moses Minz, l.c. No. 102; "Codex Halberstadt," No. 49).

At the end of the fifteenth and at the beginning of the sixteenth century takkanot were issued at Toledo; and after the expulsion from Spain others were promulgated at Fez by the scholars of Castile. Additional enactments seem to have been made by Isaac b. Sheshet (RIBaSH) and Simeon b. Zemah Duran (RaSHBaZ). Twelve ordinances were promulgated at Toledo, and thirty-two at Fez, the latter including four concerning the taking of a second wife in the lifetime of the first; five dealing with the attitude of a husband toward his wife when the latter has deserted him; and fourteen devoted to lawsuits ("Kerem hamar," ii. 34a-36b).Various takkanot were also promulgated from time to time by the Council of Four Lands. Some of these ordinances, which were binding on all Polish Jews in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, were published in a volume bearing the name of Joshua ben Alexander Falk ha-Kohen, and entitled "kontres 'al Dine Ribbit" (Sulzbach, 1692; Brünn, 1775).

Bibliography: Frankel, Hodegetica in Mischnam, pp. 3, 4, 28, 29 et passim;
Rapoport, 'Erek Millin, s.v. Usha, Prague, 1852;
Jakob Brüll, Mebo ha-Mishnah, pp. 1-52, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1876;
Bloch, Sha'are Torat ha-Takkanot, Budapest, 1879-1902;
Brüll, Jahrb. viii. 61;
Aronius, Regesten, p. 115;
Rosenthal, Die Judengemeinde in Mainz, Speier, und Worms, p. 44, Berlin, 1904;
Kohut, Gesch. der Deutschen Juden, p. 121, Berlin, 1898;
Güdemann, Gesch. i. 44, 138, 243, note i.;
Weiss, Dor, iv., v., passim;
Perles, in Monatsschrift, 1865, pp. 84 et seq.;
Sefer ha-Eshkol, i. 9. Halberstadt, 1867;
Rosenthal, in Hildesheimer Jubelschrift, pp. 37-53, Berlin, 1890;
Neubauer, in R. E. J. xvii. 69;
Kerem hamar, ii. 34a-36b, Leghorn, 1869;
Grätz, Gesch. iii. 111, 140, 212, 350; iv. 132, 157, 161; v. 336; vi. 180-182; vii. 21, 102; viii. 14, 49, 211, 268; ix. 451; x. 51, 69, 386.W. B.

Judaic - Mile Chai - Menorahs - Seder Plates

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