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corpse is put into the grave, and covered with earth ; each friend throwing a handful or spadeful in, till the grave is filled up. The coffin must be so placed in the grave, as not to touch another coffin.

The Jews account it a sin, either in man or woman, to tear their flesh, or their hair, on this inelancholy occasion, either when they weep over the deceased, or at any time afterwards ; for, in Deuteronomy, chapter xiv., it is written, “ Ye shall not cut yourselves," &c. But as soon as the coffin is conveyed out of the house for sepulture, a brick, or broken pot, is tlırown out after it, to denote that all sorrow is driven away. Those who, during the life-time of the deceased, neglected to be reconciled with him, must touch his great toe, and beg his pardon, in order that the deceased may not accuse them at God's tribunal on the day of the resurrection.

At their departure from the grave, every one tears up two or three handfuls of grass, and throws it behind him, repeating at the same time these words of the 720 Psalm, verse 6, “ They of the city shall flourish like the grass of the earth.” This they do by way of acknowledgment of the resurrection. Then they wash their hands, sit down, and rise again, nine times successively, repeating the 91st Psalm, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High." After this, they return to their respective places of abode.

When the nearest relations of the party deceased are returned home from the burial, be they father, mother, child, husband, wife, brother, or

sister, they directly seat themselves on the ground; and Mourning.

having pulled off their shoes, refresh themselves with bread, wine, and hard eggs, which are placed before them; according as it is written in the 31st chapter of Proverbs, verse 6, “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine to those that be lieavy of heart," &c. He whose usual place it is to crave a blessing on their meals now introduces appropriate words of consolation. In the Levant, and in several other places, the friends of the deceased send in provisions for ten days successively, morning and night, to some of the nearest relatives, for the entertainment of such guests as they think proper to invite ; and on a day appointed, they themselves partake of the feast, and condole with them.

When the dead body is conveyed from the house, his coverlet is folded double, his blankets are rolled up and laid upon a mat; afterwards, a lamp is lighted up at the bed's head, which burns for a week without intermission.

Such as are related to the deceased reside in the house for ten days together, and during all that time sit and eat upon the ground, except on the Sabbath day, on which they go with a select company of their friends and acquaintance to the synagogue, where they are more generally condoled with than at any other place. During these ten days, they are not allowed to do any manner of business; neither can the husband lie with his wife. Ten persons, at least, go every night and morning to pray with them under their confinement. Some add to their devotions on this solemn occasion, the 49th Psalm, “Hear this all ye people,” &c., and afterwards

for the soul of their deceased friend. The Jews dress themselves in such mourning as is the fashion of the country in which they live, there being no divine direction relating there


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unto. For full thirty days the mourner is not permitted to bathe, perfume, or shave his beard. Indeed, tattered clothes, sprinkled with ashes, and a general slovenly appearance, point out the mourning Jew during this period.

After the expiration of the ten days, they leave the house, and go to the synagogue, where several of them order lamps to be lighted on each side of the HECHAL or Ark, procure prayers be said, and offer charitable contributions for the soul of the deceased. This ceremony is repeated at the close of each month, and likewise of the year: and if the person who is dead be a rabbi, or a man of worth and distinction, they make his ESPED upon those days; that is, a funeral harangue in commendation of his virtues.

A son goes daily to the synagogue, morning and night, and there repeats the prayer called CADISH, that is, Holy, for the soul of his mother or father, for eleven months successively ; in order to deliver him from purgatory; and some of them fast annually on the day of the death of their respective relatives.

In some places, they set a monument over the grave, and carve the "name of the deceased upon it; also the day, month, and year of his decease, and a line or two by way of encomium.-Some Jews go, from time to time, to the tombs of their acquaintances and relatives, to say their prayers.

They seldom mourn for such as are suicides, or who die under excommunication. So far, indeed, are they from regretting the loss of them that they set a stone over the coffin, to signify that they ought to be stoned to death, if they had had their deserts.

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&c. The Sanhedrin, the supreme judicial authority formerly existing among the Jews, was instituted in the time of the Maccabees, (some ascribe to it an

earlier origin,) and was composed of seventy-two members. The Sanhedrin.

The high-priest generally sustained the office of president in this tribunal. The next officers in authority were the first and second vice-presidents. The members who were admitted to a seat in the Sanhedrin were as follows: 1. Chief priests, who are often mentioned in the New Testament and in Josephus, as if they were many in number. They consisted partly of priests who had previously exercised the high-priesthood, and partly of the heads of the twenty-four classes of priests, who were called, in an honorary way, high, or chief priests. 2. Elders, that is to say, the princes of the tribes, and the heads of family associations. 3. The Scribes, or learned men. Not all the scribes and elders were members, but only those who were chosen or nominated by the proper authority.

The Talmudists assert that this tribunal had secretaries and apparitors, and the very nature of the case forbids us to doubt the truth of the assertion. The place of their sitting, however, is a question on which there is more difference of opinion. The Talmudists state that it was in the temple, but Josephus mentions the place of assembling, and also the archives, as being not far from the temple, on Mount Zion. But in the

trial of Jesus, it appears they were assembled, and that very hastily, in the palace of the high-priest.

When they met, they took their seats in such a way as to form a semicircle, and the presidents and two vice-presidents occupied the centre. At each end was a secretary ; one registered the votes of acquittal—the other of condemnation. The proper period of sitting was all the time between the morning and evening service.

The Sanhedrin was the great court of judicature : it judged of all capital offences against the law : it had the power of inflicting punishment by scourging and by death. Its power had been limited in the time of Christ, by the interference of the Romans, and the consistory itself terminated its functions upon the destruction of Jerusalem. They were never able to re-establish themselves since,—nor is anything related of them in the history of our own times, except the council which the Jews held in Hungary in the 17th century, and the convocation held at Paris, under the auspices of Napoleon, in 1806.

The worship of the synagogue, with its appendant school or law-court, where lectures were given, and knotty points of the law debated, became

the great bond of national union, and has continued, though The worship of

the monarchical centre of unity in Tiberias disappeared in the synagogue.

a few centuries, to hold together the scattered nation in the closest uniformity. The worship of the synagogue is extremely simple. Wherever ten Jews were found, there a synagogue ought to be formed. The Divine Presence, the invisible Shechinah, descends not but where ten are met together; if fewer, the Divine Visitant was supposed to say, “Wherefore come I, and no one is here ?” It was a custom, therefore, in some of the more numerous communities, to appoint ten of leisure,” whose business it was to form a congregation*. The buildings were plain ; in their days of freedom it was thought right that the house of prayer to God, from its situation or its form, should overtop the common dwellings of man; but in their days of humiliation, in strange countries, the lowly synagogue, the type of their condition, was content to lurk undisturbed in less conspicuous situations. Even in Palestine the synagogues must have been small, for Jerusalem was said to contain 460 or 480 ; the foreign Jews, from the different quarters of the world, seem each to have had their separate building, where they communicated in prayer with their neighbours and kindred. Such were the synagogues of the Alexandrians, the Cyrenians, and others. Besides the regular synagogues, which were roofed, in some places they had chapels or oratories, open to the air, chiefly perhaps where their worship was not so secure of protection from the authorities; these were usually in retired and picturesque situations, in groves, or on the sea shore. In the distribution of the synagogue some remote resemblance to the fallen Temple was kept up. The entrance was from the east; and in the centre stood an elevated tribune or rostrum, from which prayer was constantly offered, and the book of the Law read. At the west end stood a chest, in which the book was laid up, making the place, as it were, the humble Holy of Holies, though now no longer separated by a veil, nor protected by the Cherubim


* Such seems to be the solution of a question on which learned volumes have been written.

and Mercy Seat. Particular seats, usually galleries, were railed off for the


The chief religious functionary in the synagogue was called the angel, or bishop. He ascended the tribune, repeated or chaunted the prayers, his head during the ceremony being covered with a veil. He called the reader from his place, opened the book before him, pointed out the passage, and overlooked him that he ad correctly. The readers, who were three in number on the ordinary days, seven on the morning of the Sabbath, five on festivals, were selected from the body of the people. The Law of course was read, and the prayers likewise repeated, in the Hebrew language. The days of public service in the synagogue were the Sabbath, the second and fifth days of the week, Monday and Thursday. There was an officer in the synagogues out of Palestine, and probably even within its borders, called an interpreter, who translated the Law into the vernacular tongue, usually Greek in the first case, or Syro-Chaldaic in the latter. Besides the bishop, there were three elders, or rulers of the synagogue, who likewise formed a court or consistory for the judgment of all offences. They had the power of inflicting punishment by scourging; from Origen's account, the Patriarch of Tiberias had assumed the power of life and death. But the great control over the public mind lay in the awful sentence of excommunication. The anathema of the synagogue cut off the offender from the Israel of God; he became an outcast of society.

At present the Jews select for the site of their synagogues some eminences, in those cities where the exercise of Judaism is allowed. The fabric must be higher than the common houses, for they say,

The house of our God must be magnificent." The Jews are obliged religiously to observe the respect due to the synagogue, and to forbear talking of business there, or even thinking on any worldly advantages. They must likewise avoid sleeping there ; and looking round about, &c. They must continue in a modest posture, and not suffer themselves to run into any indecency.

The title or denomination of rabbi is very ancient; for in the Jewish scriptures both the words RABBI and RABBONI are to be found, which are

synonymous terms. The Pharisees of old assumed this title

to themselves, with abundance of pride and arrogance, predoctors.

tending to be the sole masters and doctors of the people; and they carried this pretension to such a pitch, as to make the law subject to their traditions. Jesus Christ very severely reprimanded them for this their insolent deportment.

The rabbins, besides the privilege of preaching, and instructing their pupils, have that of binding and loosing, that is, of determining whether a thing be forbidden or allowed. When this power is conferred upon them, they have the five books of Moses, and a key, put into their hands. They create new doctors, and ordain them by imposition of hands, as Moses, just before his death, laid his hands on Joshua, his successor, and gave him his benediction ; but they limit and restrain their power as they see most convenient: one being confined to interpret the law, or such questions only as relate thereunto; and another to judge of controversies arising upon those questions.

At present, according to Buxtorf, the rabbins are elected with very little

Rabbins and

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