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Solomon Schechter, M.A., Litt.D.

President of the Faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York City.

Contributions:
MARRIAGE – Forms of the Marriage Relation. —Biblical Data: The earliest Hebrew literature represents a comparatively high development of social and domestic life. Of primitive conditions of polyandry, such as existed among the early Arabs,...
MARRIAGE LAWS – Age for Marriage. The first positive commandment of the Bible, according to rabbinic interpretation (Maimonides, "Minyan ha-Miẓwot," 212), is that concerning the propagation of the human species (Gen. i. 28). It is thus...
MARTYRDOM, RESTRICTION OF – True to the principle current in rabbinical literature—"live through them [the laws], but do not die through them" (Yoma 85b, based on Lev. xviii. 5)—the Rabbis endeavored to restrain the desire for martyrdom on the part of the...
MASSEKET – Any collection of rabbinic texts affecting any more or less complex subject. Literally the term means "a web" (from = "to weave"; comp. Latin "textus"). It is applied indifferently to a treatise of the Mishnah (Shab. 3b; B. Ḳ....
MAT, MOSES BEN ABRAHAM – Galician rabbi; born at Przemysl about 1550; died at Opatow 1606. After having studied Talmud and rabbinics under his uncle R. Ẓebi and Solomon Luria, he became rabbi of Beldza, where he had a large number of pupils. He retired...
MATAH MEḤASYA (MAḤSEYA) – Town in southern Babylonia, near Sura (see Schechter,"Saadyana," p. 63, note 1). Sherira Gaon regarded the two places as identical, for in his accounts of the geonim of Sura he uses the names of both Matah Meḥasya (or Meḥasya)...
MAẒLIAḤ, JUDAH B. ABRAHAM PADOVA – Italian Talmudist, cabalist, and poet; rabbi of Modena, where he died Aug. 10, 1728. He was the author of two works: "Tokaḥat Megullah" and "'Oẓerot Sheleg" (the latter cabalistic in nature); and of the following poems: Teḥinah;...
ME'ASHA – 1. Palestinian tanna, to whom one reference occurs in the Mishnah (Peah ii. 6), from which it appears that he lived in the time of Hillel's descendants (comp. Heilprin, "Seder ha-Dorot," ii.).2. Palestinian haggadist; grandson...
MEDICINE – In Bible and Talmud: The ancient Hebrew regarded health and disease as emanating from the same divine source. "I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal" (Deut. xxxii. 39), said the Lord through His servant Moses; and...
MEGILLAH – Name of a treatise in the Mishnah and in the Tosefta, as well as in the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. It is the tenth treatise in the mishnaic order Mo'ed, and includes four chapters, containing thirty-three paragraphs in...
ME'ILAH – Treatise of Seder Ḳodashim in the Mishnah, Tosefta, and the Babylonian Talmud. In the Mishnaic order this treatise is the eighth, and contains six chapters comprising thirty-eight paragraphs in all. It deals chiefly with the...
MEÏR OF CLISSON – French Talmudist of the first half of the thirteenth century. He is mentioned in an extract from "Pa'neaḥ Raza" (MS. Halberstam) on Gen. ii. 23 as a Bible commentator. Gross takes him to be identical with Meïr ben Baruch, who...
MEÏR OF ROTHENBURG (MEÏR B. BARUCH) – German tosafist, codifier, and liturgical poet; born at Worms about 1215; died in the fortress of Ensisheim, Alsace, May 2 (April 27 old style), 1293. He belonged to a family which was noted for its scholars; and in his responsa...
MEÏR BEN SIMEON OF NARBONNE – Talmudist and controversialist; lived at Narbonne in the second half of the thirteenth century. He was a disciple of Nathan ben Meïr of Trinquetaille, and a contemporary of Naḥmanides, with whom he maintained a scientific...
ME'IRI, MENAHEM BEN SOLOMON – Provençal Talmudist and commentator; born at Perpignan in 1249; died there in 1306; his Provençal name was Don Vidal Solomon. He was a disciple of Reuben ben Ḥayyim of Narbonne. Me'iri is regarded as one of the most brilliant...
MELIḤAH – The process of salting meat in order to make it ritually fit (kasher) for cooking. The prohibition against partaking of blood was extended by the Rabbis to include, under certain conditions, flesh containing blood (based on Gen....
MENAHEM B. AARON IBN ZERAH – Spanish codifier; born in Navarre, probably at Estella, in the first third of the fourteenth century; died at Toledo July, 1385. His father, forced to leave France in 1306 through the expulsion of the Jews, went to Spain and...
MENAHEM B. JOSEPH B. ḤIYYA – Gaon of Pumbedita 858-860. He was probably elected to the office of gaon rather on account of his father than for his own merit. He had a rival in the gaon Mar Mattithiah b. Rabbi, his superior in Talmudic lore, between whom and...
MENAHEM BEN PEREZ OF JOIGNY – French tosafist and Biblical commentator of the twelfth century. Zadoc Kahn ("R. E. J." iii. 7) identifies him with Menahem the Saint mentioned in Tos. Ḥul. 11b; and he conjectures that Menahem was killed at Bray-sur-Seine in...
MENAHEM VARDIMAS BEN PEREZ THE ELDER – French tosafist and liturgist; died at Dreux 1224. The name "Vardimas," found in Talmud Babli (Shab. 118b) as a bye-name of Menahem bar Jose, was adopted by this tosafist probably to distinguish him from other persons bearing...
MERODACH-BALADAN – King of Babylon (712 B.C.), who sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, King of Judah, when the latter had recovered from his sickness. Hezekiah, delighted with the courtesy, shows the messengers all his treasures, withholding...
MESHA (Me'asha) – Palestinian amora; lived in the third century at Lydda, in Judea. He seems to have lost his parents when a child, for he was brought up by his grandfather, the eminent haggadist Joshua b. Levi. At an early age he displayed fine...
MESHERSHAYA BAR PAḲOD – Babylonian amora of the sixth and last generation; lived in Sura. In the persecution of Jews by Perozes (Firuz), King of Persia, Meshershaya was imprisoned and executed together with Amemar bar Mar Yanḳaï and the exilarch Huna...
MESHULLAM BEN JACOB OF LUNEL – French Talmudist; died at Lunel in 1170. He directed a Talmudic school which produced several famous men, and was an intimate friend of Abraham b. Isaac, ab bet din of Narbonne, who addressed to him several responsa, and spoke...
MESHULLAM BEN KALONYMUS BEN TODROS – French scholar of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; nasi of Narbonne. Meshullam sided with Judah al-Fakhkhar in his attacks on the works of Maimonides and the philosophers. Nevertheless, he blamed Al-Fakhkhar for the...