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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:
MAXIMS (Legal) – Short sayings in which principles of law of wide application are laid down. They are known to all systems of jurisprudence: thus, "Casus nocet domino" and "Ignorantia juris nocet" are maxims of Roman law; "Nobody can plead his...
MAYHEM – In English law, the offense of depriving a person of any limb, member, or organ by violence. The bearings of such an act in the rabbinical law are fully treated under Assault and Battery.J. L. N. D.
MINYAN – Literally, "count"; the quorum necessary for public worship. The smallest congregation which is permitted to hold public worship is one made up of ten men, boys over thirteen years being for this, as for other religious...
MONEY – Biblical Data: I. As far back as the history of Israel can be traced, gold and silver were used as standards of value and mediums of exchange, and, as the Egyptian tribute-lists show, they were thus employed in Canaan even...
MORTGAGE – Written document for securing a debt upon property, possession of which is not necessarily delivered to the creditor. The Greek word ὑποθήκη (hypothec) passed into the language of the Mishnah in the form , which afterward, with...
NEIGHBORING LANDOWNERS – The legal maxim "Sic utere tuo ut alienum non lædas" (So use your own that you may not injure another's [property]) is fully recognized in the Mishnah (B. B. ii.) by the imposition of the following restraints:(1) A man should...
NISHMAT – Literally, "the soul of." A part of the liturgy which on Sabbaths and festivals leads up to the short benediction ("yishtabbaḥ") after the Psalms and other Biblical poetry of the early morning service. Nishmat, together with...
ONA'AH – Term applied to the sale of an article at so much more, or to the purchase of an article at so much less, than its market value that fraud or the taking of an undue advantage is presumed. Were not ona'ah thus construed in the...
ORPHAN – A child bereft of one or both parents, more commonly the latter .—Biblical Data: The Authorized Version, in all cases but one, renders "yatom," the Hebrew word for "orphan," by "fatherless"; the exception being in Lam. v. 3,...
PARASHAH – A section of the Pentateuch. The Sephardim apply the word to each of the fifty-four weekly lessons into which the Torah is divided in the one-year cycle, as well as to smaller sections; the Ashkenazim call the week's lesson a...
PARTNERSHIP – The word "shotefin" is used in the Mishnah almost always to denote joint owners, especially of land. In the language of later ages, when the Jews had become a people of traders, the word with the corresponding forms of the verb...
PENITENTIAL DAYS – The first ten days of Tishri, beginning with the Day of Memorial (New-Year) and ending with the Day of Atonement. According to the Mishnah (R. H. i. 2) the 1st of Tishri is the great yearly day of judgment, on which all...
PLEDGES – The law against taking pledges for debt is drawn from the following passages: "No man shall take the mill or the upper millstone to pledge: for he taketh a man's life to pledge" (Deut. xxiv. 6, R. V.), "nor [shall he] take the...
PRIORITY – The rules as to priority among deeds conveying the lands of a grantor, or among bonds operating as liens upon all the obligor's lands, have been indicated under Alienation. It remains to speak as to priorities in the case of a...
PROCEDURE IN CIVIL CAUSES – No Judgment by Default. Jewish jurisprudence, both in Biblical and in Talmudic times, attached the greatest importance to the laws of property and to their faithful administration by the judges. In regard to the manner of...
PUNISHMENT – It has been shown in the articles Capital Punishment, Crime, Homicide, and Stripes that a court may inflict for the violation of one of the prohibitive laws a sentence of: (1) death in one of four different forms; (2) exile to...
REAL ESTATE – Landed property. The differences between landed or immovable and chattel or movable property have been indicated in the articles Alienation, Appraisement, Debts of Decedent, Deed, Execution, Fraud and Mistake, Infancy, Ona'ah,...
REMAINDERS AND REVERSIONS – In Anglo-American law the owner of property (especially of land) may and often does grant or devise it to one person for years or for life, and then to other persons forever, or consecutively to several persons for life. The...
RESPONSES TO BENEDICTIONS – Any portion of the liturgy which begins with the words "Blessed be Thou, O Lord" ("Baruk attah Adonai"), or which ends with an abstract of itself introduced by these words, or which both begins and ends thus, is known as a...
RESTRAINTS ON ALIENATION – Restraints on the power to sell or encumber land are known to many systems of jurisprudence. The institution of the year of jubilee (see Sabbatical Year), as set forth in Lev. xxv. 8-28, is the most rigid restraint upon the free...
RETALIATION – In the early period of all systems of law the redress of wrongs takes precedence over the enforcement of contract rights, and a rough sense of justice demands the infliction of the same loss and pain on the aggressor as he has...
REVERTS, ADMISSION OF – The rabbinical law takes notice of apostates ("mumarim"; the popular name "meshummadim" is of somewhat modern origin); and apostasy is treated as the sum of all iniquities. But the person guilty of apostasy does not cease to be...
RIGHT OF EMINENT DOMAIN – The inherent power of the sovereign or state to take private property, generally land, for public use, especially for a highway, with or without compensation. The Mishnah says of the king in mentioning his powers: "He leads the...
RIGHT OF WAY – The law in general distinguishes between the right of private way (that is, A's right to pass over a certain strip of B's land) and that of public way (the right of everybody to pass over a strip of land which may or may not be...
RIPARIAN OWNERS – There being but little river navigation in the Holy Land, the Mishnah says nothing as to the rights and duties of landowners along the river-bank, except in reference to irrigation. It teaches (Giṭ. v. 8) that for the sake of...