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The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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Julius H. Greenstone,

Rabbi, Philadelphia, Pa.

Contributions:
CAPTIVES – Biblical Data: The Bible makes no provision for the treatment of captives taken in war. Captives were considered as slaves, and as such were subject to all the laws that govern the relations between the master and his non-Jewish...
CONFLICT OF LAWS – A disagreement between the laws of two states with reference to litigation affecting private rights claimed to be subject to their jurisdiction.The Mosaic law recognizes no distinction between a native and a foreigner (Ex. xii....
CONFLICT OF OPINION – Rarely did an opinion expressed by one of the rabbis of the Talmud pass unchallenged. In questions involving logical reasoning, or the interpretation of some Biblical passage, or an opinion of an earlier authority, there were...
CONSENT – A voluntary yielding of the will, judgment, or inclination to what is proposed or desired by another. A rational and voluntary concurrence of the parties is necessary in all cases involving a legal act or contract. This...
CRUELTY TO ANIMALS – The Bible contains no comprehensive principle regarding the rightsof animals. In the Biblical account of creation man is made sole ruler over the lower creatures, with the right to use them for whatever purpose he desires (Gen....
CUSTOM – An old and general usage, or a religious practise, not based on any particular Biblical passage, and which has, through the force of long observance, become as sacred and binding as laws instituted by the proper...
DEAF AND DUMB IN JEWISH LAW – In Jewish legislation deaf and dumb persons are frequently classed with minors and idiots, and are considered unable to enter into transactions requiring responsibility and independence of will. They are regarded as...
DESECRATION – The act of diverting from a sacred to a common use. It was forbidden, as being an act of desecration, to use the anointing-oil of the sanctuary for common purposes, or even to prepare oil like it, or to prepare for common use...
DIETARY LAWS – Biblical and rabbinical regulations concerning forbidden food.Vegetable Food. A. The ancient Israelites lived chiefly on vegetable food and fruit, upon which the Bible places no restrictions (Gen. i. 29). With the development of...
DOMICIL – Place of abode; dwelling; the place where a man has his true, fixed, permanent home and principal establishment, and to which, whenever he is absent, he has the intention of returning.The place in which a man establishes himself...
DOWRY – The portion or property which a wife brings to her husband in marriage. In patriarchal times the dowry was not known. As among all other nations of antiquity, in Israel the bridegroom named a price or ransom ("mohar") to the...
EARNEST-MONEY – Part payment of the price by the buyer of a commodity as a guaranty that he will stand by the bargain.Wherever the payment of the whole price secured title to property, the payment of a part of the price did the same. All...
EASEMENT – An incorporeal, right, existing distinct from the ownership of the soil, consisting of a liberty, privilege, or use of another's land without profit or compensation; as, an easement consisting of a right of way, a right to...
EJECTMENT – An action to recover the immediate possession of real property, with damages for wrongful withholding.The general principle governing all cases of possession of real estate in Jewish law was ("Real property is presumed to belong...
ELDER – In primitive times age was a necessary condition of authority. Not only among the ancient Jews, but also among other nations of antiquity, the elders of the nation or of the clan constituted the official class. The institution...
EVE OF HOLIDAYS – Unlike the early Babylonians, whose day began with sunrise, the Jews began theirs with sunset. Some critics, Dillmann among them, attempted to find traces of the Babylonian reckoning in the early portions of the Bible, but there...
EXCOMMUNICATION – The highest ecclesiastical censure, the exclusion of a person from the religious community, which among the Jews meant a practical prohibition of all intercourse with society. For the etymology of the Hebrew terms used in this...
FASTING AND FAST-DAYS – Fasting is usually defined as a withholding of all natural food from the body for a determined period voluntarily appointed for moral or religious ends. This institution has found wide acceptance in all religious systems,...
FEE – A payment for service done or to be done, usually for professional or special services, the amount being usually fixed by law or custom. The duties discharged by the Levites in connection with the service of the Tabernacle and,...
FIRST-BORN, REDEMPTION OF – According to Talmudic tradition, the first-born acted as officiating priests in the wilderness, until the erection of the Tabernacle, when the office was given to the tribe of Levi (Num. iii. 12, 13, 45-51; Zeb. 112b; compare...
FORGERY – The act of falsely making or materially altering, with intent to defraud, any writing which, if genuine, might be of legal efficacy or the foundation of legal liability. The Mosaic law, intended mainly for an agricultural...
FOUNDLING – A deserted child whose parents are unknown. The question as to the status of such a child in the Jewish community was chiefly decided by the condition in which it was found. If there was evidence that its parents had abandoned...
FUNERAL ORATION – The expression of grief over the dead body of a relative or friend in words of lamentation or of praise is of very early origin among the Jews (Gen. xxiii. 2; l. 10, 11). In the Bible specimens are found of such lamentations,...
FUNERAL RITES – Ceremonies attending the burial of the dead. After the body had been cleansed ("ṭohorah") and placed on the bier (see Burial), the funeral procession began, with the accompaniment of trumpets (Ket. 17a; M. Ḳ. 27b), and of dirges...
GAMBLING – Playing at games, especially games of chance, for money. Among the ancient Israelites no mention is made of games of chance, and no provision was made against them until the period of the Mishnah. With the introduction of...