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Joseph Jacobs, B.A.

Formerly President of the Jewish Historical Society of England; Corresponding Member of the Royal Academy of History, Madrid; New York City.

Contributions:
SEMALION – Name occurring in an obscure passage relating to the death of Moses (Sifre, Deut. 357; Soṭab 13b), which modern scholars consider to be identical with the Greek Σημαλέον (="giving a sign") and about which the ancient...
SEMIATITSCH, GEDALIAH – Lithuanian Talmudist of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He was one of the Ḥasidic party which in 1700 made a pilgrimage to Palestine under the leadership of Judah Ḥasid. In his work "Sha'alu Shelom Yerushalayim"...
SEMON, CHARLES – Philanthropist; born in Danzig 1814; died in Switzerland July 18, 1877. He emigrated to England and settled in the manufacturing town of Bradford, Yorkshire, becoming one of its most prominent citizens. He was elected mayor in...
SEMON, SIR FELIX – English specialist in diseases of the throat; born at Danzig Dec. 8, 1849; nephew of Julius Semon. He studied medicine at the universities of Heidelberg, Berlin, Vienna, and Paris and at St. Thomas's Hospital, London, receiving...
SENIOR, ABRAHAM – Court rabbi of Castile, and royal tax-farmer-in-chief; born in Segovia in the early part of the fifteenth century; a near relative of the influential Andreas de Cabrera. On account of his wealth, intelligence, and aristocratic...
SEPULVEDA – City in the bishopric of Segovia, Spain, inhabited by Jews as early as the eleventh century. Its old laws contained a paragraph (No. 71) to the effect that if a Jew had intercourse with a Christian woman, he should be condemned...
SEQUIRA, ISAAC HENRIQUE – English physician; born at Lisbon 1738; died in London Nov., 1816. He came of a medical family, his grandfather, father, and two uncles having all been physicians. He was instructed in general literature and philosophy by the...
SERENE (SERENUS) – Pseudo-Messiah of the beginning of the eighth century; a native of Syria. The name is a Latin form of , which is found in a responsum of Naṭronai Gaon ("Sha'are Ẓedeḳ," p. 24a, b). Gregorius bar Hebræus ("Chronicon Syriacum,"...
SHABBAT GOY – The Gentile employed in a Jewish household on the Sabbath-day to perform services which are religiously forbidden to Jews on that day. The Shabbat goy's duty is to extinguish the lighted candles or lamps on Friday night, and...
SHAMMASH – Communal and synagogal officer whose duties to some extent correspond with those of the verger and beadle. In Talmudical times he was called "ḥazzan"; and then it was also a part of his duties to assist in reciting some of the...
SHANGHAI – Opium Trade. Chinese city. The first Jew who arrived there was Elias David Sassoon, who, about the year 1850, opened a branch in connection with his father's Bombay house. Since that period Jews have gradually migrated from...
SHAPIRA, M. W. – Polish purveyor of spurious antiquities; born about 1830; committed suicide at Rotterdam March 11, 1884. He appears to have been converted to Christianity at an early age, and to have then gone to Palestine, where he opened a...
SHARON – Large plain of Palestine, with an average elevation of between 280 and 300 feet above sea-level; bounded by Mount Carmel on the north, Jaffa on the south, the mountains of Gilboa on the east, and the Mediterranean Sea on the...
SHE-HEḤEYANU – The benediction "Blessed be the Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who has kept us alive ["she-heḥeyanu"] and sustained us and welcomed us to this season"; in actual usage the blessing begins with the words "She-heḥeyanu,"the...
SHEBA, QUEEN OF – In the Bible, Josephus, and the Talmud. Monarch of a south-Arabian tribe, and contemporary with Solomon, whom she visited. The Queen of Sheba, hearing of the wisdom and wealth of Solomon, visited him at Jerusalem, accompanied by...
SHEKANẒIB – Small town near Nehardea, in Persia, perhaps identical with Al-Zib on the Tigris, and possibly with ('Er. 64a, MS. reading). According to M. Ḳ. 28b, its women were noted for the beautiful songs of mourning which they sang at...
SHEMAIAH (SAMAIAS, SAMEAS) – Leader of the Pharisees in the first century B.C.; president of the Sanhedrin before and during the reign of Herod. He and his colleague Abtalion are termed in Pes. 66a the "gedole ha-dor" (the great men of the age), and ib. 70a...
SHEPHERD – In the early days of settlement in Palestine the chief occupation of the Israelites was that of shepherding. Traces of the importance of this occupation are found through the Old Testament. The shepherd's function was to lead...
SHETADLAN – Representative of the Jewish community in Germany during the Middle Ages, and in Russia almost to the present day. When the government issued a decree against the Jews of any particular locality, the latter would send their...
SHEṬAR – For the conditions under which these were drawn up in ancient times see Deed. In medieval times the same principles were carried out, but as the deeds with which Jews were concerned were chiefly those determining the...
SHOWBREAD – Composition and Presentation. —Biblical Data: Twelve cakes, with two-tenths of an ephah in each, and baked of fine flour, which were ranged in two rows (or piles) on the "pure" table that stood before Yhwh and remained exposed...
SHIRAZ – City of Persia; capital of the province of Fars. It was founded by Mohammed, brother of Al-Ḥajjaj, in the year 74 of the Hegira (= 693 C.E.). According to traditions current in Persia, Jews settled at Shiraz at an early period,...
SHOE – For the greater part, among the ancient Hebrews, the shoe consisted merely of a sole of leather or, less often, of wood, supported around the ankles by leather bands (see Sandals); but it is probable that Jewesses, even at an...
SHRIMSKI, SAMUEL EDWARD – New Zealand politician; born at Posen, Prussia, 1828; died at Auckland, New Zealand, June 25, 1902. In 1847 he went to London, where he became a merchant; in 1859 he emigrated to Melbourne, Victoria; and in 1861 he went to New...
SHULAMITE – Principal character in the Song of Songs (A. V. Song of Solomon), although mentioned there in one passage only (vii. 1 [A. V. vi. 13]). According to the opinion of some modern critics, the Shulamite was the bride of a shepherd;...