Jewish and Christian Ethics/Chapter V
Abraham and Moses.—The Bible.—The "poor in Spirit."—The Kingdom and the Earth that are to be their heritage.—Cabalistic Sense necessary for the Comprehension of the Law.—Greatness of the Humble.—Authority.—Example of Jesus.—Submission to Injury.—Other Beatitudes.—The Persecuted.—Pride.—Anger.—Serpent and Dove.—The Child.—Self-Denial.—Voluntary Poverty.
If Christian ethics boasts that it taught men charity, it arrogates no less the honor of having taught them humility. It should, however, remember that the two greatest Hebrews,—one the spiritual father, the other the political father of ancient Israel,—are eminently and proverbially distinguished for their humility. Abraham esteemed himself but dust and ashes (Gen. xviii. 27); Moses, as the Scripture states with singular precision, was the humblest of all men upon he earth: a phrase well emphasized, and showing the man of God in a light not hitherto sufficiently appreciated, and that invests him, the first, with that aureole of goodness and mildness usually ascribed only to the son of Mary. But far from that, the latter is rather a fiery spirit in an iron mould; he preeminently possesses the will, force, and energy that are but apportioned in the Hebrew law-giver. We should gain too easy a victory by contrasting Judaism with Christianity on the score of humanity. We might turn to the Bible, that abounds in passages where the humble, the meek, the poor in spirit are put at an elevation unknown to the Gospels. But since, as we have said, learned Hebrew writers have fully criticized the Bible, and since Christianity, if not absolutely playing the part of innovator, has so loudly proclaimed its mission as reformer, as restorer of Biblical ethics disfigured by the Pharisees, it is time to sift its claims once for all before another tribunal besides the Church, to wit, that of free Criticism.
When Jesus uttered on the mountain-top these celebrated words: Happy are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; Happy are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth; and elsewhere: Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, &c., was this anything new for Palestine, anything that was not reechoed each day in its temples, schools, and assemblies? A word first upon the true exposition of the preceding fraqments. No doubt but that by "poor in spirit" is meant the humble, for quite similarly do the Rabbis designate them, nemoke rouah (humble in spirit),—from the literal translation of which comes the English phrase—one of the thousand traces of the Rabbinico-Aramean origin of the Gospels, But it is to the promise that ends the verses we would call attention.
In the first, theirs is the kingdom of heaven; in the second, they shall inherit the earth. The latter, we remark, is but a verse taken from the Psalms (Psl. xxxvii. 11). But is there a real synonym in these expressions? It is very probable that there is, above all if we bear in mind the sense we have given to the Gospel "kingdom of heaven," viz.: that of Malchout, the last emanation of the Cabalists, their kingdom of heaven. Now, this kingdom seems to be doubly identified with the object of Jesus' promise; first because it takes, in preference to all others, the name earth, synonymous with kingdom, as Jesus uses it; and again, because this earth, precisely as in the Gospels, is promised by the Cabalists to the meek and humble. And we have but to glance at the Zohar—where averse almost identical with that of the Psalm, Tzadikim yireschou aretz, is interpreted in the same manner, and aretz, earth, is said expressly to be the synonym of kingdom—to be assured both as to the sense we here give the Gospel kingdom, and as to the synonyms of the Kingdom of verse 3, and the Earth of verse 5. Besides, is it not the most common and well-known doctrine among the Cabalists? Is it not the Schechina that is called anava (humility), and which explains Jesus' characteristic humility, that other incarnation, that other Malchout? Is it not from this that comes inspiration? Is it not because of their natural humility that the poor are called the temple or car of the Schechina, of the Kingdom? Is it not as a similar term that the Zohar first, and then the Ticounim call the Kingdom humility? Here doubtless are passages of great importance in the present question, and that seem to confirm all our conjectures.
But is this idea itself, apart from all cabalistic interpretation, unknown to Pharisaical Judaism? Is this partiality for the humble, is the special aptitude of these to become chosen vessels for all that concerns science, faith, and holiness, unknown to the Pharisees? Far from that; nothing comes so frequently to their lips. "With the humble God makes his Schechina rest." Who is the true sage? said an ancient doctor; he who may be taught by all. God's science is not in the heavens, said Moses; that is to say, add the doctors, thou shalt not find it in those whose pride reaches the sky. Where, on the contrary, shall one find it? in the lowly-minded, like water that comes from the mountains to sojourn in the valleys. One is not ashamed, they say elsewhere, to ask even an inferior for water to slake thirst; so the great should not blush to ask the meanest for information as to the law. Of this has not Juda the Holy, set us the most striking example? Has he not learned, as an humble disciple, his own doctrines that he had forgotten, from the mouth of a poor artisan? Moreover, of the two rival doctrines of Hillel and Schammai, which one has definitely prevailed in Israel? That of the first, indeed, in consequence of his humility. He it is whom they propose as a model, saying: Be humble always like Hillel, and not overbearing like Schammai. But what is of special importance to our subject, is that always and everywhere humility has been considered an indispensable requisite for the study of the formidable mysteries of the Mercaba, that is, as we think, of the doctrines that originated those of Jesus. From the most remote Talmudical times, to the Cabalists of the middle ages, all with one accord have required of the initiated perfect humility above all things.
We come now to the greatness of the humble, of those who are at present the last, and who shall become the first, who humble themselves now and who shall be exalted. Is not this a repetition of ancient Rabbinical doctrine? "What should a man do to win the love of mankind?" asks Alexander the Great of the doctors of the South (the Essenes, as we think). Let him hate dominion and authority, say the doctors. No, says Alexander, my maxim is better than yours; let him love them, that he may have the power to serve men. Has not tradition preserved a favorite saying of the elder Hillel, long prior to Christianity: "My abasement shall be my elevation, and my elevation my abasement." Is it not he who said: "He who grows proud shall perish." Is not the following saying his master Abalion's? "Flee grandeur." Has not one of the most ancient doctors said: "Be humble even to excess, for is not man's last hope the worms of his grave?" Did not their disciples say: " Be lowly ... whoever humbles himself shall be exalted, and whoever exalts himself shall be humbled. Whoever makes naught of himself here below for the Law's sake, shall be glorified hereafter." To him who said he had seen in a dream the world reversed, that is to-say, the mountains down and the valleys up, did they not answer: " No, thou hast seen the actual world?" And, in short, have they not summed the principle concisely thus: "Who is great is little, and who is little is great?" Moreover, what splendid promises are made them! What precious privileges are given them! They shall enjoy the Holy Spirit, as the old Baraita of R. Pinchas Ben Jair teaches, with whom humility holds the first rank of all virtues. "The world to come," reply the doctors of Palestine to those of Babylon, "belongs to those who bend their knees, to the humble, the submissive, to those who meditate constantly and without being vain. Their sins shall be forgiven who esteem themselves as abortions, as vile refuse." If the fear of God is the crown of sages, it is but the shoe of the humble; their prayer shall be granted, as they deem themselves but miserable flesh." And finally, "God himself shall be their crown." Was anything stronger ever heard from the lips of Jesus or his apostles?
Here a question very interesting and, in more than one way, applicable to our subject, presents itself. What is the Gospel idea as to sovereign authority? Doubtless, in the midst of paganism, that, in practice at least, recognized no right but that of force, worshiped divine right enthroned, and thought sovereignty the privilege of birth, skill, or fortune only, the Gospel first proclaimed this great, fruitful idea that authority is nothing but a charge, an office, a servitude. In the Gospel we feel the new doctrine attacking, in close conflict, the old, and driving it to its furthest intrenchments. Ye know, said Jesus to his disciples, that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. A right which, though long a mere theory, failed not to temper occasionally, from the height of the Christian tribunal, the rigors of despotism, that the apathy of Christianity as to social life, had permitted to the thrones of Europe. Has Judaism ever taught anything else? Was the king ever other than the first subject of the law, the ruler, in the sense of the old Roman republic? Was royalty, according to the great definition of the doctors, aught else than servitude? Was not David himself, that elect of God, quite legally degraded to the rank of simple citizen, when his popularity waned, and the sympathies of all were on Absalom's side? Is it not true, what the doctors say, that all human grandeur is bestowed only for the weal of Israel? But Jesus, it will be said, points the remark: "For," said he, "even the son of man has not come to be served, but to serve." And when at table with his disciples: "I am in the midst of you, as one who serves." Now, is not this still pure Pharisaism; for here, too, God (whose character Jesus here assumes) is presented under the humblest forms, rendering personally to Israel in the desert, all the services that Abraham had rendered to the angels in the valley of Mambre? And this is not the only instance (as we might show were it the place) of a reproduction, in Jesus' intercourse with his disciples, of the striking characteristics of ancient Jewish history.
Nothing is more closely allied to humility than long-suffering, and nothing, moreover, seems to be more the specialty of the gospel ethics. Is this, indeed, its parent? Has not this ethics found in Judaism maxims already made, of a character far superior, of a date far older? The famous precept, to offer the other cheek when smitten, had been long before suggested by his country's sufferings to Jeremiah, and criticism has already noticed it. Is Solomon's precept less precious? Be thy heart, he said, insensible to what may be said against thee, even though thou shouldst hear thy slave curse thee. We shall not multiply citations from the Bible; as the Pharisees are on trial, they are the persons accused of being inferior to Jesus; these therefore we should ask for an account of their ethics. The world, they say, is held together only by the merit of those who close the mouth when disputations arise. And to sum all in one fine sentence: They who bear injury without returning it, they who hear themselves slandered and retort not, whose only impulse is love, who welcome with Joy the evils of life, for them is it written in the prophets: The friends of God shall shine like the sun in his glory.
Let us here briefly examine a few other "beatitudes" related to the virtue of which we treat. Happy are they who weep, said Jesus, for they shall be comforted. Pharisaism also had said: "Whoever mourns for Jerusalem shall share its future joy." "The tears of the distressed reach easily the throne of God." "They are the greatest help, the most necessary condition to every prayer." And what is noticeable is that the acknowledged chief of the Cabalistic school, R. Simeon Ben Jochai, is the author of the following maxim: Man is not allowed to laugh unrestrainedly in this world. Jesus continues (Mat. v. 7): Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. And the Pharisees: "Whoever shows mercy shall get it from God;" or again, in a more general way: "As you measure, so shall it be meted unto you;" and under this same form we meet the same thought in the Gospels. We read also: "Happy are the peace-makers, for they shall be called children of God." And this virtue is set down by the Pharisees among those that will be rewarded in this life and in the next; Aaron's distinctive trait was that he reconciled brethren; this is the virtue that Hillel the Elder recommended, saying: "Be a follower of Aaron, loving peace, and seeking it everywhere, loving men and bringing them to the Law."
Not all yet: Happy, says Jesus, are they who are persecuted for Justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.—Wouldst thou know, say the Pharisees, how much God loves the persecuted? See the animals he chooses for sacrifice. Are there any more persecuted than the sheep, the pigeon, and the dove? Now God just prefers these to all other animals.
But we must not conceal that the Pharisaical ethics not only rivals that of the Gospels, but transcends it when needed. Jesus exclaims: "Happy those persecuted for the sake of righteousness;" that is, doubtless, those persecuted in the wrong, against all justice. But how, if the persecuted are guilty? No one knows. As to the Pharisees, their mercy knows no bounds, their charity is of a shade so delicate, of a tenderness so fine, that misery makes them forget all. They say, with Solomon: God is found on the side of the persecuted. Is it only, they add, when the oppressed and the oppressors are equally just or impious? Is it only when the oppressor is an unjust man and the oppressed a just one? No; though the oppressor were just and the oppressed unjust, God is ever on the side of the latter.
An ethics that attains such heights has no rival to fear. Like Moses, who, according to the doctors, strove with the angels, it touches the very throne of God.
If there be a vice opposed to humility, it is pride and anger. Though the Gospel condemns both by implication in its exhortations to humility and meekness, it is very far from reaching that vehemence of condemnation which the Pharisees incessantly pour upon them And we shall still be told, that those against whose pride and inordinate vanity Jesus thought proper to inveigh, were the holy doctors of Israel! See the proud! they say, "they deserve to be uprooted like idolatrous groves. Their dust shall not rise on the resurrection morn. Though they should have reconciled heaven and earth with God (as did Abraham), they could not escape the pains of hell." "Let them be to you as idolaters, atheists, or the incestuous. The Schechina laments for them; they and I—it says—cannot live together in the world."
As to the horror, in fact, with which the Pharisees regarded pride, we could cite examples without end. One, I hope, will suffice to show with what sort of pride the Gospels reproach the Pharisees. Rabbi Simeon, son of Gamliel, and Rabbi Ismael, the high priest, were led to martyrdom. The former began to weep. "Simeon, my brother, why weepest thou?" asked his companion; "two steps more, and thou wilt be in heaven, beside thy fathers." "Why should I not weep, answered the other, "when I share the lot of idolators, incestuous people, homicides, and breakers of the Sabbath?" "Has it never happened," replied the Rabbi, "that some one came to consult thee on a case of conscience, and that thy servants, seeing thee at table or in bed, sent him away?" "No," replied the other, "they had orders never to repel any one, whatever the time or circumstance. But God is just: once I was seated at my tribunal and the parties were standing waiting my judgment, I showed on that occasion pride, and God punishes me to-day."
And does the passionate man fare better? Already, before Jesus, had the Bible condemned him; the most ancient doctors had said: "Be not given to wrath." They refined soon upon the old maxims: "Whoever," they tell us, "abandons himself to anger, has no respect for the Schechina itself." "If the passionate man be a prophet his inspiration leaves him; if a doctor, he forgets his learning." Who would believe it? The Pharisees, all submissive as they were to the authority of the Prophets, hesitated not to write these words: "Why was Elias snatched so soon from the earth? Because he gave way to anger and caused Baal's prophets to be slain. Then God took him from the world, saying: 'The earth needs not men like thee.'" Jesus condemns only causeless anger (Mat. v. 22); the Pharisees condemn it even when reasonable.
There is a sentence in the Gospels connected with our present subject. Sending his twelve disciples to preach to the Jews, Jesus cautions them: Be ye wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Does this idea, which is not ignoble and lacks not finesse if only for the antithesis, belong exclusively to Jesus and the Gospels? The Pharisees find its elements in the Bible. In one place they see Israel compared to the bravest and fiercest carnivora, to the lion, the wolf, and especially the serpent; in another it is to a dove God likens his Church. Whence this contradiction? "Ah"! say the doctors; "Israel is strong as a lion, wise as a serpent, but also innocent as a dove: strong and prudent with wolves into whose midst he is sent, to keep their strength at bay, to thwart their crafty schemes; but, innocent as the dove that gives its neck to death, Israel goes joyfully to martyrdom for his God and his faith."
Another of Jesus' favorite symbols is the child. David, many ages before, had said: "O Eternal, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty, neither do I exercise myself in things too high for me, but I have considered my soul as a child in its mother's arms." (Ps. 131) The doctors went further still. They placed the figure of a child in the holy Mercaba, beside the Cherubs of Ezekiel. They taught that the world has no better stay than the pure breath of children; comparing this breath with that of the holiest Pharisees, they say: "Far different is the breath that find? the taste of sin (that of the Pharisees) from that (the child's) which finds it not." They represent God as a tender father pleased at their childish studies, at their first stammerings in the holy Law; they esteemed their minds the sharpest for heavenly things, and gave them priority as the revelations about the Red Sea and Sinai, where, they say, the child, seabed on its mother's knees, was the first to raise its head, to recognize the Eternal, and to utter these words of the Canticle: There is my God, "Wouldst thou know how much children are loved by God? When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians, the representatives of all Israel (who were there for the sacrifices) , went away, but the Schechina still remained. The Sanhedrim broken up, the Schechina still rested within its walls; but when the children ware carried away prisoners, then the Schechina went with them, for it is written: 'Thy children have walked captives before the enemy; then departed from Sion all its glory'"(Lam. I, 5-6). And to sum all, the doctors arranged for the Synagogue prayers, wherein, with the merits of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are invoked those of innocent childhood. Bat what is at once the type and the explanation of Jesus' partiality for children, is this remarkable statement from the Zohar: Little children who die young are taught in Paradise by the Messiah himself.
Another kindred virtue is truth, which Jesus seems to recommend by condemning duplicity and hypocrisy. Is this a virtue unknown to the Pharisees? Truth! which, with justice and peace, as says an ancient doctor, makes one of the three pillars of society. The seal of God is truth; a sublime saying that lifts us to Plato. Who shall not see God's face? First, hypocrites, then liars. Imitate, rather, Bab Safra. An article of his was being sold; a higher price was constantly offered, since the doctor, who was praying, would not stop to reply. When done, he said to the buyer, "My friend, take it at such a price (a lower one), since at that I resolved to sell it. For such a man, say the doctors, has David said, "O God, who shall be worthy to dwell in thy tabernacle, upon thy holy mountain? He who speaks the truth in his heart." Is it a virtue less needful to the Pharisees? Hear then: "Let man be ever submissive to God's will, in private as well as in public" (repeated, from a very old text, every day by the Israelite). "The doctor, whose interior is not as his exterior, deserves not the title, doctor." He should be cast to the dogs. Let him beware of all lying, even of telling a child, "I shall give thee something," if he means not to give; for he would lie and teach the child to lie. Is more wanted? We meet nothing till we reach the simile by which Jesus expresses the hypocrisy of the psuedo-Pharisees, viz., whitened sepulchres. This is found in the oldest Pharisaism, and, moreover, is applied, just as Jesus applies it, to false Pharisees. Gamliel (the same, perhaps, who taught Saul) having withheld the right of entrance to the academy from every Pharisee whose sincerity was not well known, whose inside was not as his outside (in the words of the Rabbis), reproved himself for his severity, saying, "Alas! perhaps I have deprived some noble soul, hidden in the mass, of the word of God." To calm his scruples, he was shown, in a dream, whitened barrels full of ashes, and a voice said to him: "These are the Pharisees whom thou hast repelled."
The love of truth brings us to self-denial, one of those virtues most recommended in the Gospels. He, we are told (John, XII, 25), who loves his own life shall lose it; but he who despises it shall find it in life eternal; and Paul to the Romans (VIII, 13): "If ye live after the flesh ye shall die; but if ye mortify the lusts of the flesh through the spirit ye shall live." Could both be ignorant of a tradition current in Judea from Alexander's time? The son of Philip was not above putting some questions to the doctors of the South (very probably the Essenes), and among others the following: "What should man do to live? Let him die. And what should he do to die? Let him live, they replied." Where shall you find the Law? In him who fears not, for its sake, utter privation, who hesitates not to be esteemed a fool, and to sacrifice for it life itself. "He who is worthy of being my follower," said Jesus, "must brave all suffering." "Whosoever takes not up his cross to follow me, is not worthy of me." It is from Pharisaism, evidently, that he takes this language, while, however, supplanting the Law, truth, justice, God (alone worthy, according to the doctors, of every sacrifice), by his personality, by the I of Jesus. The carrying of his cross, scarcely reaches the idea of the cross, that his masters, the Pharisees, long before expressed. Who, for them, is Isaac carrying the wood for his own pyre? He is the man bearing the cross. Is there aught in this world finer, dearer, more sacred than country, than the Law , (Thora), than Heaven (Olam habba)? Well! neither Law, country, nor heavenly bliss can be gained without grief, suffering and self-denial. And who is the author of this great truth! Rabbi Simeon, Ben Jochai, the man whose teachings have inspired all Christianity, its dogmas as well as its ethics. And what commentary on this law of self-denial more quick than the history of Judaism! God "shows his goodness even to the thousandth generation of those who love him," says Moses. Who loves him, adds the Mekhilta, better than Israel, who died a thousand times for him? Why art thou led to the scaffold?—Because I circumcised my child. Why art thou nailed to the cross?—Because I have obeyed the commands of the Most high. Why art thou whipped?—Because I have taken up the loulab (palm-branch).
In vain does Christian ethics, as if to defy the ancient ethics of Israel, raise the standard of its requirements; it finds the latter always beyond it. To the rich man, who asks to follow him, Jesus says: "Go sell all thou hast and give to the poor; it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle." We do not here investigate the effect of this condemnation of wealth upon social life. We know that when Christianity saw not the era of the resurrection dawning as quickly as it expected, when, with good grace or with bad, it found itself engaged in our actual life, with its needs, demands, and future, it took care to distinguish counsel from precept, and simply recommended voluntary poverty. If we were examining this aspect of the question, we should remark that so absolute a judgment from Jesus against the rich and riches, that the constant and general practice in the primitive church of each one's selling his property and laying it at the feet of the apostles (as in the terrible example of Ananias and Saphira), do not permit us to make any sort of distinction. If we are deeply convinced of anything it is that, as Jesus pretended to make the highest and most exceptional Pharisaical doctrines common property, so he pretended to impose on mankind those exceptional virtues, those heroic acts, that ascetic morality, that absolute self-detachment of which the greatest Pharisees often gave examples; in short, to bestow upon the Pagan masses the theology and ethics of the Mystics, and to stifle the world in an Essenic cloister
These examples, however, exist. Useless to name the Rekabites who, from the time of Jeremiah, at the command of the prophet, renounced the holding of personal property; or the Essenes (whose connection with the former is nearer than is supposed) who imitated them in this point as in others still. But how pass over the examples furnished us by the history of the Pharisees? Monobaza, King of Adiabene, brought up in Pharisaism, though keeping his throne, learned doubtless from this school to give alms royally; in years of famine he opened the royal wealth to all his subjects, and the remarks of courtiers only brought upon them that noble response to which, when speaking of charity, we shall soon revert. Could we, without injustice, suppress names as ancient as venerable? Was it from the Gospels that the ancient doctor Eleazar of Bartotha learned to give his substance to the poor, to such a degree that the almoners carefully avoided him, lest they should deprive him of his scant daily earnings? Was it from Jesus, whom he long preceded, that Hillel learned to divide men into four classes according to each's love of riches, and to rank him who said, "Mine is thine, even as is thine own," with Hasid, a name, as we think, indicative of the Essenes? Was R. Isbab, who gave his blood for his country and all his goods to the poor, taught by Christianity? Was that Rabbi Johanan a Christian, who, walking with his disciples between Tiberias and Sipporis, pointed now to a cornfield, now to an olive grove, now to a vineyard, saying, I have sold all to devote myself to the study of the Law; and who said, smiling, to his disciple Hiya Bar Abba (who wept because he had "reserved nothing for his old age"): "My son Hiya, thinkest thou not that I have made a good bargain? I have exchanged things that were made in six days for those that took forty days and as many nights?" The text adds: "When Rabbi Johanan died, his cotemporaries applied to him this verse of the Canticle: Man gives all for love; Rabbi Johanan gave all for the Law.
Are these but rare examples? What we have said elsewhere of the Essenes forbids us to think so. But the moral contagion that had seized the Jewish masses, the renunciation of all wealth, voluntary poverty, this communism of love, went, it seems, so far in Palestine, that a law had to interpose. The practical sense, sociability, and moderation of the Judaic spirit soon set the law (that idol of the Jews) between generosity and self-spoilation. And this protective law was enacted at Ouscha where the doctors, meeting to put a stop to this barren frittering of the public wealth, decreed that it was unlawful for any one to give in alms more than a fifth of his property; an enormous figure, and one which well attests the force and demands of that public spirit to which the doctors dared not concede less than a fifth, so irresistible in Israel was the impulse to Charity!
- Reschit Chokma, schaar haanava.
- Ibid. Chap. I.
- Vol. III, page 230.
- Reschit Chokma, ibid.
- Aboth, IV.
- Talmud, Treatise Eroubin, f. 55.
- Taanit, page 7.
- Taanit, I.
- Nedarim, IV.
- Eroubin, xiii.
- Marc. X, 31, &c.
- Talmud, Tamid.
- Vayicra, Rabba, sect. 81.
- Aboth, Chap. 1.
- Ibid, Chap. IV.
- Talmud, Eroubin, fol. 13.
- Talmud, Berach, IX.
- Ibid, Pesahm, fol. 50.
- Zohar, sect. Schelach-leka.
- Talmud. Sanhed.
- Ibid, Rosch. hasch., fol. 17.
- Midrasch, hazita.
- Talmud, Sota, fol. 5.
- Ibid. Meghilla.
- Talmud. Heroyoth. fol 10.
- Talm. Berach, foL 32.
- Eccles, vii. 21.
- Talmud, Houllin, fol. 89.
- Ibid, Schab, fol. 88, &c.
- Ibid, Taanit, fol. 30.
- Ibid, Baba metsia, fol 59.
- Treat, Berachot, fol 30.
- Ibid, Sota, fol. 8 and pass.
- Mischna, treat, Peah., Chap, I.
- Aboth, Chap. III.
- Vayikra Rabba, Chap. 27.
- Sota, Chap. I.
- Abath, Chap. II.
- Talmud, Nedarim.
- Ib. Pesachun, f. 6.
- Talmud, Schabbath, Chap. II.
- Midrasch, treat. Schabb. f. 119.
- Talmud, treat. Schabb, f. 119.
- Talmud, treat. Schabb, f. 119.
- Aboth, Chap. I.
- Yoma, fol. 69, &c.
- Talmud, Baba, Bathr., f. 88, &c.
- Yoma, f. 72.
- Succa, f. 46.
- Talmud, tr. Tamid, Chap. IV.
- Sota, Chapter 2.
- Talmud, Berach, 63, &c.
- And truly, whatever he lacked of self-glorification and self-sufficiency, his followers, putting him in the very stead of God and calling him (Rev. XII, 13) the Alpha, and Omega, (a phrase applicable exclusively to the Deity, see Isa., XLIV, 6), have amply supplied. Whether or not such an arrogation be a breach of the first Commandment, a consideration of Isaiah, Chapter 42, 8, "I am the Lord, that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another;" and, 43, 10th and 11th verse, "and besides Mt there if no Savior," may help Christians to decide.—[Trans.]
- Ibid. Trait. Berachot, fol. 5.