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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:
ROBBERY – In law the taking of the movable property of another under constraint of force or fear; in the Bible the word is sometimes applied to the forcible taking of land or of slaves. From the penalty for robbery (at least under certain...
SALE – Of Land: The steps by which the title to land is changed in a gift or sale have been shown under Alienation. The conveyance might be by deed ("sheṭar"), for the requisites of which see Deed. It remains to be shown how the object...
SEDER – Passover at Jerusalem. SEDER CEREMONIES FROM THE MANTUA HAGGADAH OF 1550 Seder as Observed by Dutch Jews of the Early Eighteenth Century.(From Picart.)The term used by the Ashkenazic Jews to denote the home service on the first...
SEDUCTION – The act of inducing a woman or girl of previously chaste character to consent to unlawful sexual intercourse. The Mosaic law (Ex.xxii. 15, 16, Hebr. [A. V. 16, 17]) says: "And if a man entice a virgin that is not betrothed and...
SELDEN, JOHN – English jurist and Orientalist; born Dec. 16, 1584, at Salvington, Sussex; died at Whitefriars, London, Nov. 30, 1654. He was educated at Oxford, and was admitted to the Inner Temple June 14, 1612. He had the use of the valuable...
SET-OFF – Effort of a defendant to set up a cause of action against a plaintiff, to the end that the judgment of the court may satisfy the claims of both at the same time; the "compensatio" of Roman law. Although there is no name for it,...
SHEMINI 'AẒERET – Eighth day of Sukkot, "'aẓeret" being the name given to it in Lev. xxiii. 36; Num. xxix. 35; Neh. viii. 18; II Chron. vii. 9. The eighth day of Sukkot is not mentioned in Deut. xvi., and is found only in those parts of the Bible...
SIGNATURE – Usually a writer inscribes his name at the end of a writing as a certification of authorship or as an indication that he accepts the sponsorship of the writing; but it does not appear that this was the custom of the ancient...
SLAVES AND SLAVERY – The Hebrew word "'ebed" really means "slave"; but the English Bible renders it "servant" (a) where the word is used figuratively, pious men being "servants of the Lord" (Isa. xx. 3), and courtiers "servants of the king" (Jer....
SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE – Proceeding by which a court compels an obligor to carry out his contract rather than make him pay damages in money for the breach of it. In English-American law the phrase is used almost exclusively in reference to a contract to...
STRIPES – Offenses. The only corporal punishment named in the Pentateuch is that of stripes; and the limitations put upon the judges are that they must cause the culprit to be beaten in their presence, and that the number of stripes...
SUBPŒNA – In English law, a writ which commands witnesses to come into court and to give testimony. Scripture (Lev. v. 1) makes it the duty of any one who has seen or heard things which are material to the right decision of a lawsuit,...
SUMPTUARY LAWS – Laws that restrict individual expenditures as to food, clothing, etc. In the Mishnah several expensive customs are abolished by reason of evil times which had come over Israel (Soṭah ix. 9): "During the war of Vespasian the use...
SURETYSHIP – Arrabo." The liability, contract, or undertaking of one who becomes a surety. Reference to a surety occurs only once in the Pentateuch; namely, in Gen. xliii. 9, where Judah tells Jacob that he will be surety for Benjamin's safe...
SYNAGOGUE – Established During the Exile. The origin of the synagogue, in which the congregation gathered to worship and to receive the religious instruction connected therewith, is wrapped in obscurity. By the time it had become the...
THEFT (V12p123001.jpg) AND STOLEN GOODS – The Moral Aspect: To steal is to break one of the Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt not steal"; and it is immaterial whether one steals from an Israelite or from an idolatrous Gentile, from an adult or from a child. The value of a...
TORT – Any wrongful act, neglect, or default whereby legal damage is caused to the person, property, or reputation of another. Liability arises either from contract or from tort. Direct and wilful tort is Trespass. Trespass on the...
TRESPASS – Injury done directly, in most cases purposely, to the person or property of another. Trespass on the person has been discussed under the head of Assault and Battery: it remains to speak of the Talmudic law of trespass on...
TRUSTS AND TRUSTEES – It has been shown under Guardian and Ward and under Community how the Jewish law took notice of the various powers and duties of those to whom the property of orphan children or of the community was entrusted for management. But...
USURY – In modern language this term denotes a rate of interest greater than that which the law or public opinion permits; but the Biblical law, in all dealings among Israelites, forbids all "increase" of the debt by reason of lapse of...
WARRANTY OF TITLE – The Hebrew term for warranty of title is (= "future"), the same word denoting the force of an attested deed which served as a mortgage on all lands owned by the debtor at the time of its delivery. Whenever lands or slaves were...
WIDOW – Prerogatives of a Widow. The law of Israel treats the widow as a privileged person, and seeks to indemnify her in some degree for the loss of her natural protector. Thus the movable property of a widow can not be attached for...
WILL – The legal instrument by which a person disposes of his property, or of a part thereof, and which takes effect after his death, but the provisions of which may be changed or revoked at any time before death.The ordinary...
WOMAN, RIGHTS OF – The problem of the rights of woman in Jewish law and custom is presented mainly in five phases: (1) the power of the father over his daughter; (2) woman's right of inheritance; (3) the powers and duties of the husband; (4)...