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The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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Lewis N. Dembitz, D.H.L.

Counselor at Law, Louisville, Ky.

Contributions:
CONTRACT – Contract by Deed. In law a formal agreement recognized as constituting an obligation to do or not to do a particular thing. Both Bible (Prov. vi. 1-5; perhaps also Deut. xxiii. 23 and Ps. xv. 4) and Mishnah (B. M. iv. 2) attach...
CORPORATION – A combination of several persons, for certain purposes and under a common name, into one artificial body, which the law permits to act as a single person. In technical language there can also be a "corporation sole"; that is,...
COSTS – The outlays made by suitors which are incident to the administration of justice. The question of costs is a twofold one: (1) What do the several officials and the witnesses receive? and (2) What, if anything, does the successful...
CRIME – An act forbidden by human law and punished by human authority, in contrast to sinful acts which are thought to be evil in the eyes of God.In the Mosaic legislation the principal crimes against person and property—murder,...
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE – The method indicated by law for the apprehension, trial, and for fixing the punishment of those persons who have broken or violated the law. The prosecution and trial of criminals in Biblical times is enveloped in doubt. The...
CUP OF BENEDICTION – The cup of wine taken immediately after grace has been recited at the conclusion of a meal. The custom is first mentioned directly in Mish. Ber. vi 6: "If wine comes to them [a company of three or more] during the meal, each one...
DEBTOR AND CREDITOR – The law-books treat under this head the incidents of payment: the kind of money that the creditor must accept; the place at which the debtor must pay; the means of sending or bringing the money; good and bad tenders; the...
DEBTS OF DECEDENTS – Under the old law as it is recognized in many passages of the Talmud (e.g., Ket. 81b) and implied in the Mishnah (Ket. ix. 2; B. Ḳ. x. 1), the goods and chattels of a decedent, or the moneys due to his estate, can not be seized...
DEED – In English law a contract under seal. To it corresponds very closely in Jewish law the "sheṭar" (lit. "writing"); the latter, however, means a solemn document, and is as such distinguished from the mere note of hand ("ketab...
DEMANDS – In law the rights which a person has to recover money or things of value from others, whether by contract or for wrongs sustained. In the Bible is applied to the debit as well as to the credit. The Mishnah, when speaking of...
DERELICTS – Things that have been abandoned ("res nullius" in the Roman law). The Talmud treats of four kinds of things that have no owner: (1) Seas, rivers, brooks, the desert (which can not be subjected to ownership), and all they...
DOMAIN, PUBLIC – As distinguished from private domain ( ), public domain is prominent in many branches of rabbinic lore, especially in the law of Sabbath observance; for on the Sabbath it is forbidden to carry anything but one's clothing and...
DRUNKENNESS IN LAW – The Talmud speaks only once of drunkenness in its relation to responsibility for contracts or for crimes; namely, in the following baraita ('Er. 65a):"A drunken man's purchase is a purchase; his sale is a sale; if he...
DURESS – In law, the use of such unlawful force against a contracting party as will entitle him to rescind a contract. The rabbinical law on this subject goes back to the wars of Vespasian and Titus, when many Jews, in order to save...
EMBEZZLEMENT – The fraudulent conversion to one's own use of goods or money entrusted to one's care and control. The offense differs from theft in that in the latter the possession itself is unlawful.The Mosaic law provides a penalty for...
EMBRYO – The young of a mammal while still connected with the body of its mother. The child "en ventre sa mere" of English law was a subject of dispute between the ancient and the new Halakah, the former considering it a separate living...
ESTIMATE – Estimate differs greatly from Appraisement. The latter is a valuation put upon land or upon some commodity by men acting in a judicial capacity; the former is a sort of valuation made by the Mosaic law itself, mostly...
EVIDENCE – Whenever in proceedings at law an issue arises—that is, in civil cases when a fact is asserted on one side and denied on the other—the issue is generally determined by evidence, which the party having the burden of proof must...
EXECUTION – Carrying into effect the decision of a court. The word also denotes the writ entrusting some officer of the law with the duty of carrying the judgment into effect. For the manner of carrying out a criminal sentence see Capital,...
FAULT – Harmful neglect of duty. The "culpa" of Roman law is treated to some extent under the heads of Accident and Bailments, the former dealing with torts arising from lack of care, the latter with the loss of goods or animals through...
FINDER OF PROPERTY – In law he who finds and takes up lost goods acquires thereby a special ownership as first occupant against all the world excepting the true owner. The duty, however, to seek out the true owner and to restore the lost things to...
FINES AND FORFEITURE – A fine or forfeiture, in the sense either that a sum of money is to be paid, or that the whole or a part of a man's property is to be turned over to the king or commonwealth by way of punishment for an offense, is unknown to...
FIXTURES – Things fastened to the ground, directly or indirectly. Doubt may arise with regard to them, whether or not they become in law part of the land. This may be a question between the landlord and the tenant, or between the seller...
FOREIGN ATTACHMENT – In modern law, the seizure of a debtor's property in a jurisdiction within which the debtor himself can not be found, he having absconded, or residing elsewhere. Such a proceeding has grown up in most countries under the...
FORNICATION – Cohabitation between a man, married or unmarried, and an unmarried woman. While the common law speaks of intercourse between a married man and an unmarried woman as adultery, followed herein by many American statutes which grant...