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nation. “I have not found so great Faith,” said our Lord of him, “ no, not in Israel.” Believing, we may hope that the Holy Spirit, while he manifests to us the love of Christ, will keep alive in our hearts the love of this people.--It should be maintained, moreover, by the constant reading of the Holy Scriptures. As we lose sight of the Bible, we lose sight of the Jews. Or even should we keep their nation in view, as it now exists, if we do not keep in view, at the same time, their scriptural history and character, little good will be gained. It is the view of faith, connecting the Jew of the Bible
with the Jew that stands before us, that gives the Christian interest. The same remark might be applied to any human being : it is seeing him in connexion with his scriptural character and prospects, which gives him his Christian importance.
But to the Jew it applies especially. An interest so created and cherished, will be faithful, yet compassionate; pitying the sinner, while it denounces his sin. - It will be spiritual, yet considerate : regarding first the wants of the immortal soul, but not overlooking those of the suffering body. If there be a Society, the members of which, as a body, make the spiritual benefit of the Jews their exclusive object, the very existence of such a Society proclaims, to that people and to the world, a great lesson; namely, that the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, are to be sought first. But the more are we called upon as individuals, the more are we called upon, by other channels, to shew that we feel for the sufferings of mortality; and that our faith is not of that dead kind, which says, “ Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled,” yet, notwithstanding, gives not those things which are needful to the body. Such a love to the Jews, as we are describing, also, will be national, yet individual : so that it shall be said, of him who has it, “ he loveth our nation ; and yet it shall appear, that he wishes well to the individuals, composing that nation. To love the people, but not the individuals, would remind us of maintaining national, but denying personal, election; which we hope will never be done in the Christian Review. That sort of love to the Jews, which we now recommend, will also be enlarged, but particular. It will embrace the whole family of man; including the Jew, as standing on the common footing of mortality. But, at the same time, it will see particular reasons for regarding him, which give him a distinguishing and an especial claim. It will remember the larger numbers, indeed, of the other nations of the world. But it will also remember, that number is not the only scriptural test of importance. It was not number that influenced the Divine choice, when God called Abram alone, and blessed him, out of all the families of the earth. And if we give the Jew an especial place, in our hearts, our exertions, and our prayers, it will be only that place which he already occupies in the written word, and in the declared purposes of God. - And lastly, the emotions with which we regard the remnant of Israel, will be sad, but hopeful. When we behold a once stately edifice in ruins, the feelings excited are, generally, those of the more melancholy kind. But if, beholding such an edifice, we were to be assured that it should soon be rebuilt, and rise again from its ruins in all its pristine splendour, we should soon experience more cheerful emotions. And such an assurance we have, concerning Israel : for what saith the Lord ? “ I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old.” Nor has Israel ever departed from this hope. We find him inferring his restoration, even from his dispersion. “ And here may we also learn this: as the evil which our prophets have prophesied concerning us, has been fulfilled, so the good, which they have prophesied concerning us, will be much more fulfilled. Rabbi Gamaliel, and Rabbi Eleazer, the son of Azariah, and Rabbi Joshua, and Rabbi Akiba, went to Jerusalem. When they were
come to the mountain of the house, that is, the mountain where the temple stood, they saw a fox run out from the place, where once was the Holy of Holies. Then began they to weep. And Rabbi Akiba, he laughed. Then said they to Rabbi Akiba, · Wherefore dost thou laugh?' Then said Rabbi Akiba to them, • Wherefore do ye weep?' Then said they to him, ' So holy is this place, that it is written in the Law, · The stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.' And yet now is fulfilled that which is said in the verse, Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it.'' Then answered Rabbi Akiba, • Therefore do I laugh. For while the prophecies of evil were not fulfilled, then feared I that peradventure the good prophecies would not be fulfilled. Now that I see all the prophecies of evil fulfilled, hereby know I, of a surety, that the good prophecies also will certainly be fulfilled. For the good measure of the Holy One, blessed is He, is more than the measure of retributions.' So will we hope that to us shall be fulfilled, that which our prophet Isaiah speaketh, (xi. 11;) when he prophecies that the King, the Messiah, shall come, saying: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, wl ch shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from
Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.'” Josippus, Part II. sec. 35.
So much with respect to the proper spirit. We now proceed to touch upon the requisite qualifications. Rabbinical knowledge is the point on which we chiefly propose to dwell; though there are other points of equal, and indeed of far higher importance, which we may take up at some future time. The preparation for this work lies, principally, in the heart. There must be that inward preparation, which is the work of the Holy Ghost, and which is to be sought by prayer. And, in this, the main thing is that spirit of Christian love, of which we have been already speaking. Then, again, as to those attainments, which qualify the believer for meeting the Jews, among the chief must be mentioned the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. A pollos was “mighty in the Scriptures * ;” and, therefore, he“ mightily convinced the Jews t.” The Bible he seems to have made his great weapon : “shewing by the Scriptures that Jesus was Christ.” For this work, indeed, the knowledge of the Bible is worth far more, than all knowledge besides : and a man would have a better prospect of succeeding in it, taking the Scriptures alone, than taking the whole compass of rabbinical and classical knowledge, without them. If, therefore, a man has not leisure and opportunity for Jewish studies, let him take the Bible alone, and go in the strength of the Lord. But rabbinical knowledge has also its place. It is one of those things, which are not to be any ground of very high selfestimation when acquired ; yet which ought not to be neglected, by those who have the means of securing them. Perhaps there is no national literature which so develops national character, as the Jewish. From this and from other circumstances, it looks almost like presumption, for one who purposes to address this people, to neglect its attainment, provided he has time and opportunity. Wishing then to give to such studies their due place, though we would not exalt them too highly, we proceed to say a few words, on the acquirement of Jewish literature.
There are two ways of making this acquirement, a hard and an easy one. The harder way is, to go through a course of study embracing several tongues. Hebrew is the first step: then follow Chaldee and Syriac, in regular order : and lastly comes the Rabbinic. This, we say, is the harder way; but of course it is the regular one; and the way
which prefer, who had time, and who wished to accomplish his purpose in a proper, scholar-like manner. But, supposing a person
every one would
* Δυνατος εν ταις γραφαις.
+ Eυτονως διακατηλεγχετο.
has not time, there is for him another, and a comparatively easy way, not generally known. The language now spoken by the Jews, throughout the north of Europe, and, indeed, by a great part of them in England, is called the Judeo- Polish. It is in fact an ancient and very interesting dialect of the German; intermixed, however, with a considerable number of Hebrew, and a few Polish words. Concerning this language, then, there are two points, which we wish to set before our readers : the first is, that it contains a very large store of Jewish literature, in various departments ; the second, that, comparatively speaking, it is easy of attainment: so that many persons, who have not leisure to acquire the Rabbinic, might hope to be able to acquire this; and even those who have, may find it advantageous to take it in their way, as auxiliary and introductory.
We have said, in the first place, that this language contains a very large store of Jewish literature, in various departments. It contains, for instance, commentators; versions of Scripture, Jewish and Christian ; sacred poetry ; dramas; works on morals and science; history; and tracts of various kinds ; in fact, quite sufficient to give a man an insight, both into Rabbinism and the Kabala. Hitherto, there has been no grammar of the Judeo-Polish; though it is a dialect, which has sufficient peculiarities to require one. We are hoping, however, to receive a work of this kind, which, as we understand, a Jew is publishing, or has published, in Poland. Should we be disappointed, we may perhaps supply our readers, hereafter, with a short compilation, which we have made for our own use. Other publications are said to be now in progress, which, we hope, will open the way to the knowledge of Jewish literature; particularly the grand translation of the whole Talmud into French.
We proceed to offer a short account of the works which stand at the head of our article.
The work entitled, “The Five Books of the Law," is in fact chiefly a compilation from various Jewish commentators; and contains a strange mixture of ingenuities and absurdities, with some very striking explanations, of texts, or expressions of Scripture. There is enough of good, to lead us to infer, that there must, at some period or other, have been a race of Jewish commentators, who were taught by the Spirit of God to understand the Scriptures: and enough of bad, to shew us into what depths of absurdity we may fall at last, by indulging in that habit, which is so strongly reprobated by Paley, of literary trifling with the Scriptures. This work has sometimes been called the Woman's Book; being much read in Poland by Jewish females. Nevertheless, if you call on our friend, Mr.
VOL. III,-NO. I,
Barnet, the great Jewish bookseller in Duke's Place, and ask for it by that name, he, being, like all the Jews, a humourist, will probably put on a very grave look, and say, as he once did to a friend of ours, “ The Woman's Book? The Woman's Book ? That must be a book of blank paper.” Then ask for the Tsínnah Rénnah, and he will understand you. As a motto, in the title-page, stands, in Hebrew, the beginning of that verse in the Song of Solomon, “ Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon, &c.” The first two words, 173N71 77383, being seen in this conspicuous place, have come at length to be the title of the book; which, by gradual corruption, is now pronounced, Tsinnah Rénnah. According to Bartolocci, there is a commentary on Leviticus, bearing the same title. He spells it Tzenorenna.
We think there would be no difficulty in tracing, from the various comments brought together in this work, how the Jewish Church, enjoying, at some former period, probably before the coming of Christ, the light of the Spirit in the reading of the Old Testament, possessed, at that time, a race of enlightened and spiritual interpreters of the Word : but how, afterwards, this light being withdrawn, the art of interpreting Scripture degenerated; the divines, not having chosen to retain God in their knowledge, became vain in their imaginations: and at length fell into all sorts of childish fancies, and their foolish hearts were darkened : so that we now find, in their commentaries, not only much that is puerile and unmeaning, but much that is absolutely shocking and revolting. An awful lesson, this, to all who make the reading of the Bible a matter of mere literature, and not of devout study and edification.
The more awful, because we may begin well; and, being pleased with discoveries, which we make by a better light than our own, may strive to make others by mere ingenuity, investigation, and comparison ; and so sink into self-willed expositors, and at length self-willed perverters, of that which is only to be rightly expounded by the Spirit of God. We translate a few comments, beginning with those which appear most plausible. The first professes to explain, why the names of Abram and Jacob were altered, while that of Isaac continued the same.
Inasmuch as the name of Isaac was given by God, it remained unaltered. But Abraham had an altered name. At first he was called Abram. And Jacob also. At first was he called Jacob; but afterwards God called him Israel. But Isaac's name came from God. Therefore he always retained it.
The next is upon Genesis xxiv. 36. “And Sarah, my master's wife, bare a son to my master when she was old.”
Eleazar therefore says that they have a child in their old age, in order to