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The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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Gotthard Deutsch, Ph.D.

Professor of Jewish History, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Contributions:
UZIEL – Family name occurring principally among the Sephardim in Spain, where it is found as early as the fifteenth century. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal, the Uziels were scattered throughout northern Africa,...
VAEZ – Prominent family of Lisbon, whose foremost members, the four brothers Immanuel, Pedro, Ayres, and Salvador, resided in Portugal as Maranos during the sixteenth century.Abraham Vaez: Ḥakam of the Portuguese congregation in...
VENICE – Italian city; formerly capital of a republic embracing northeastern Italy and some islands in the Mediterranean. The first Venetian document, so far as known, in which Jews are mentioned is a decree of the Senate, dated 945,...
VERDUN – Capital of the department of Meuse, France. Jews resided there from the twelfth century; and among the scholars of the city may be mentioned the tosafist Samuel b. Ḥayyim (Tosef., Yeb. 65a, 66b; Tosef., M. Ḳ. 23a; Tosef., B. Ḳ....
VEREIN ZUR ABWEHR DES ANTI-SEMITISMUS – Name of two societies for combating anti-Semitism. The first was formed in Berlin toward the end of 1890 by twelve men who issued an appeal to the German people, calling upon Jews and Christians alike to fight the excesses of...
VEREIN FÜR CULTUR UND WISSENSCHAFT DER JUDEN – Society founded at Berlin (Nov. 27, 1819) by Leopold Zunz, Eduard Gans, and Moses Moser. The objects of the society were to improve the social position of the Jews and tocheck the conversions to Christianity which at that time...
VEREIN FÜR JÜDISCHE GESCHICHTE UND LITERATUR – Name of societies founded in many German cities since about 1890 for the spread of the study of Jewish history and literature. Although certain societies of the kind had existed earlier, the first impetus was given to the...
VESOUL – Capital of the department of Haute-Saône, France. Jews first settled there in the latter part of the thirteenth century, under the leadership of Ḥayyim b. Jacob, who was a correspondent of Ḥayyim b. Isaac Or Zarua', one of the...
VIENNA – Capital of Austria-Hungary. Legend asserts that Jews settled in this city in the remotest antiquity, and it is alleged that some were among the first colonists that Rome sent to the Danube. In 905 decrees were issued fixing the...
VITAL – Italian family, including several scholars, of whom the best known are:Ḥayyim Vital: Cabalist; son of Joseph Vital; born at Safed in 1543; died at Damascus May 6, 1620. He was educated by Moses Alshech. His biography is full of...
VOLTAIRE – French poet, historian, and essayist; born at Paris Nov. 21, 1694; died there May 30, 1778. His name was originally François Marie Arouet; but about 1718 he assumed the name of Voltaire. He is known to the world as one of the...
VOLTERRA, MESHULLAM BEN MENAHEM – Italian jeweler of the fifteenth century. He lived in Florence, where he and his father, Menahem ben Aaron Volterra (who in 1460 was worth 100,000 ducats), carried on a business in precious stones. According to Abraham...
VORARLBERG – Extreme western district of the Austrian empire. In the Middle Ages it was called "Vor dem Arlberg," and was divided into the estates of Bregenz, Feldkirch, and Bludenz. To these was added in 1560 the imperial county of...
WALLICH – German family which probably derived its name from the Hebrew transcription of "Falk" ( ). The earliest known members of it are Joseph b. Meïr Wallich, a physician, and Moses Joshua Wallich, both of whom lived at Worms in the...
WANDSBECK – Town in Sleswick-Holstein, near Hamburg. About the year 1600 Count Breido Rantzau, owner of the estate of Wandsbeck, allowed Jews to settle there in consideration of a small yearly payment for protection. Many Jews availed...
WANEFRIEDEN, ELIAKIM GETSCHLIK – Dayyan and preacher in Amsterdam about the end of the eighteenth century. He published a pamphlet entitled "Megillat Sefer" (Amsterdam, 1790), containing some homilies, besides a eulogy of R. Saul Löwenstamm, chief rabbi of...
WEIL, TIAH (JEDIDIAH) – German rabbi; born at Prague Oct. 2, 1721; died at Carlsruhe Oct. 10, 1805. He was the son of Nethaneel Weil and received his early instruction from his father. In 1744 he married Gitel, daughter of Jacob Eger, a well-to-do...
WESEL, BARUCH BENDET BEN REUBEN – German rabbi and scholar; born at Wesel in the latter half of the seventeenth century; died at Breslau in the latter part of 1753 or the beginning of 1754. He was a descendant of a prominent family which had ramifications in...
WESSELY, WOLFGANG – Austrian jurist and theologian; born at Trebitsch, Moravia, Oct. 22, 1801; died at Vienna April 21, 1870. At the age of fourteen he was sent to Prague to prepare himself for the rabbinate, graduating as Ph.D. in 1828, and as...
WETZLAR – Prussian city in the district of Coblenz; formerly a free city. Jews lived there probably as early as the twelfth century, since a young Jew of "Writschlar" is mentioned in connection with the murder of Alexander of Andernach...
WIESBADEN – German town in the province of Hesse-Nassau; capital of the former duchy of Nassau. Schenk ("Gesch. der Stadt Wiesbaden") thinks that Jews lived there in the fourteenth century; but he gives no documentary evidence to support...
WILMERSDÖRFFER, MAX, RITTER VON – Bavarian financier and philanthropist; born at Bayreuth April 8, 1824; died at Munich Dec. 26, 1903. At an early age he entered the Munich banking firm of his uncle, J. W. Oberndörffer, whose daughter he married. He was...
WOLFSOHN, WILHELM – German poet and essayist; born at Odessa Oct. 20, 1820; died at Dresden Aug. 13, 1865; studied medicine and philosophy at Leipsic. He began his literary career with translations from Latin into German under the pseudonym Carl...
WORMS – Early History. Town in Rhein-Hesse, grand duchy of Hesse, Germany. Like Mayence and Cologne, it has one of the oldest Jewish communities in Germany. A legend relates that the Jews of Worms were descended from the Benjamites who...
WRESCHEN – A town in Posen, Germany, three miles from the Russian frontier. Its Jewish community formerly ranked among the largest of southern Prussia, and is mentioned as one of the congregations which suffered severely during the...