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He died in the year 1037, and in the 69th
about 40 years,
Tews per- His successor Hezechias, chief of the captivity, was more un
jecuted. fortunate under that Khalif, as well as the Jews under him; he
being put to death with all his family, except two of his sons,
who fled' into Spain, by the time he had enjoyed that dignity
abouttwo years: after which the academies were ordered to be
shut up, and the learned doctors obliged to retire into the west;
whither they were followed by the rest of that nation, to avoid
further persecution. A year or two before, that is, about the
beginning of Hezechias's reign, happened that famed schisin
between the sons of A/her and Naphthali, which is looked
The rife pf upon to have given birth to the first Majforites. They are
a new at least the first grammarians that took upon them to revise
schism. and correct the sacred books (F). However that may be, the
* Gantz ibid. sub. A. M. 4797. Juchas. p. 125. • ShaUhel. Hakkabal. p. 37. Bartoloc Wolf, Hottinger Hist.Ecd. N. T. §.xi. p. 495.
(F) They were called Moses and Aaron; and as to their styling themselves the sons of Asher and Naphthali, that was the name of their tribe, and not of their parents. Aaron hath been supposed by some critics (46) to have been a native of 'Tiberias, because that academy, over which he presided, took his pai t against Moses, and his eastern followers, who preferred the corrections of his antagonists. It were lost labour to enquire after his native coun,try, but it is plain, from the jfcv.isb historians, that he taught jn the east, under Hezechias, from which he might afterwards retire to Tiberias, on account of the persecution. And Jiere it was that the doctors gave him the preference to Moses, as he had preferred that city and academy to all others, to take refuge in. However, the dispute
between him and his competitor, was not about the points, as Capellus imagined, but about the terms of scripture.
A learned critic in those matters, who had examined the corrections of Aaron, both printed and in manuscript, makes very light of them (47), and thinks them posterior to the Majjorab, and tho' new, yet too trifling, notwithstanding the noise which that division hath mac'e, which is no more than common, most of the school disputes being of that nature. However, if he is right.it still shews the authority of the Hebrew to be the greater, and that the original text, had till then been so far preserved in its purity, as to stand in no great need of their correction.
That these two competitors flouristied in the eleventh century, seems indisputable not
persecution, which was partly owing to the civil discords that then reigned among the Khalifs (of which we have spoke more fully in their history f) and partly to the jealousy which they conceived of the chief of the captivity 1, and of their raising some revolt, proved so severe and violent, as to bring on not only the destruction of their family, the muting up of all the academies, as we lately hinted, but likewise to oblige the rest Expelled of the Jcwi/b nation to seek for refuge, some in the deserts A0"' '*>' of Arabia, and others in the provinces of the west. And eafthere it is that most authors place the total extinction of the Retire into dignity of the princes of the captivity; tho' if we may believe Spain, the Jewish travellers Benjamin de Tudela, and rabbi Pet a- &cchiab, who visited those parts in the 12th century, they still End of found one of those chiefs among the dispersed Je-ws'm Persia, thdr who was called Samuel, and boasted himself lineally descend- princes. ed from the great prophet of that name; and for proof of it, produced a regular genealogy from the one quite down to the other; which, if true, proves, 1st. that those princes were not all of the lineage of David, as the Jews pretend: secondly, that they were not wholly abolished in the nth century, tho* they must be supposed to have sunk much from their former splendor and authority, if they really enjoyed more than the bare name. And as for the academies, especially those of Sora, Pundebita, and Pharutz-Shiboor, it plainly appears that they were quite abolished from the year 1039; and if any schools were left in those parts that assumed the name of academies, they were too poor and obscure to deserve it (G). We
-f- Vol. iii. p. 131, & seq. y Solomon, Ben Virc. Sheveth Jehudah,-p. 307.;;
only because they taught in the taken occasion from thence to Babylonijh academies, which triumph over the Jetxis, and to were shut up soon after; but prove to them, from the prophebecause the learned Maimonides, cy of Jacob (49), that it is vain who flourished in Egypt, in the and absurd in them to expect ensuing century, formed his own the Messiah to come, seeing, by copies from that of Ben Ajber, their own confession, the seepso that this last must have lived tre hath been so long departed some years before him, feeing from Judah, Sec. And it is true his corrections had been alrea- indeed, that they have now no dy approved in Egypt. And if longer that pretence to invalidate those revisers are still more an- the force of that noble prediction cient, as is generally pretended, against them. But whoever conthen are they the less to be siders it in its full extent and charged with novelty (48). purport, as we have endeavoured (G) The Christians have to state it, in several parts of
(48) Fid, Basnag. ui, sup. I. ix. c. 4. § 11. • (49) Gertt 49,10.
\ have now nothing more to mention of them in the east, ex
Persecuted oept that stiort-lived persecution which they suffered in Egypt, in Egypt, under the reign of Hakem, who pretended to set up a new religion, opposite to all others, and which was that of the . Drust, little known to us, if it was not the fame with that of the ancient Druids, but which he had blended with a vast number of the most extravagant and impious notions not worth repeating; which he affirmed to have had from the Deity. The vast number of disciples which he gained among the heathens, made him resolve to persecute the Christians and Jews, as the only ones that opposed his doctrine; the • latter of whom he obliged to wear a mark of distinction, and ordered all their synagagues to be (hut up, and them to be "Restored, cudgelled into Compliance: but as he was of an inconstant A. C. temper, he soon changed his mind, and restored them to 1026. tkeir ancient liberty .* before he died (H). But it is now high time to pass into the west. Jews In . We begin with Spain, where the wars between the SaraSpain in certs and the Christians, which reigned during the 10th centutbe 1 oth ry, gave them such time to breathe, that their schools were and nth Jq a flourishing condition under the khalifats of Abd-Allah and
z See the Kitab Almakid, translated by M. De La Croix, & D.Herbelot Bibl. Orient, sub voc.
this work (50), will easily fee and shall dwell no longer upon
that the good old patriarch it.
could not mean by the words (H) Hakim was murdered by
(50) See Anc. Hill, id Mi. p. 317, & sect. (G).wl. x.p. 619. ft J D Htrkxl Bib). Orient, f. 41S. Kitab Almikaid, translated by Peter de It Crsix.
Abd-Al-Ramah, the latter of which reigned above 50 years with centuries. great success, whilst the, Jews grew numerous and wealthy, and abounded with learned doctors, both Spaniards and of other nations. Among the latter was the celebrated Moses, Moses streamed Cloathed with sackcloth, because, in his coming from Sackthe eastern countries, he had been taken by some corsairs, cloth and fold to the Jews of Cordowa, who paid his ransom out of charity. Moses being still destitute of every thing, even of clothes to cover his nakedness, wrapped himself about with a sack, and in that despicable guise used daily to go and hide himself in some corner of the school, to hear their lectures. It was not long, however, before he gave them such pregnant proofs of his learning and merit, by his questions and answers, that ithe then professor yielded the chair to him of his own accord. He was soon after chosen chief of chosen the nation with a considerable income: but his desire of re- chief, turning to his native country was like to have deprived them A.C.968. of him, had not Hakem, the Khalif then reigning *, put a stop to his going, for some reasons of state, and retained him to explain the thalmud to the Spanish Jews (I), and to determine all their controversies. Moses, according to the Jewish style, A.C.997. reigned with great credit and applause, till the year 997, and left the throne, or chair, to his son Enoch.
H A S H'EY M, who succeeded his father Hakem at Cor- ff,aimuj dowa, went still farther, and caused the thalmud to be trans- translated lated into Arabic^ whether out of curiosity to know what that into Araso much boasted book contained, or perhaps, rather to render bic. it more common there, and so prevent the Jews frequently going to Bagdad or Jerusalem. R. Joseph, one- of Moses's disciples, was appointed to preside over the version, and succeeded so well in it, that it made him quite proud and arrogant, so that he strenuously opposed the election of Enoch to . the chair. Nevertheless, Enoch's party not only carried it
* Dehoc&preced.vid.sup. vol.ii.p. 339,& seq. &p. 483,& seq.
(I) That book was so little lif, who was an Omniade, and known at this time in Spain, it was apprehensive lest this freseems, that when any disputes qflent intercouse in the east, arose among them, they used where the Abasjides, his mortal to fend deputies to the Baby/o- enemies, reigned, should give nifit academies, to have them rife to some dangerous change, decided by their doctors. The put at once an end to it, by setvery prayers which they used ting up this Mises for their ora on the grand expiation-day, and cle ; by whom all disputes and other national fasts, had been controversies were decided withcomposed by R. Miffim, one of out going farther. the Batylonijb chiefs. The Kha
R; Joseph against him, but caused him to be excommunicated; upon excommu- which he first appKed to Hasbeym; but he refusing to meddle mealed, ;n the dispute, "Joseph was forced to leave Spain, and took the road to Bagdad, in hopes to have been protected by the famed R, Hay, who was then chief there: but he also sent him word that he could not receive a man that had been excommunicated by the Spanish synagogue; so that he was obliged to retire to Damascus, where he died some years after, without being able to obtain a reversion of his sentence \
The wars in Spain being still as violent during the ri'th century, as they had been during the ioth, the Jews: reaped no small benefit from it, during the first four years of it; in R. Sam- which R. Samuel Levi, being secretary and prime minister to Levi chief the king of Granada, was by him created chief of the Jewish eftbejews nation, and used all his credit to promote the interest and ■"■ honour of it, and even to the sending for some of the most 10'' learned doctors from Baby/on, Afric, and Egypt, to whom he A. C. was * ver7 liberal benefactor. He had even the good fortune 1055. to fee himself succeeded by his own son, in all his dignities, tho' his being a haughty and arrogant youth was no small grief to his father, who was particularly famed for his humility arid sweetness of temper, even in his most prosperous state. But their tranquility was soon disturbed, by an unexpected accident. And one rabbi Halevi, a learned and zealous- Jew, having undertaken to convert the Moslems to the Jewish religion, to which the version of the thalmud into Arabic lately mentioned, was a great help, soon awoke the jealousy of the Granadan king, who could not but resent so bold an attempt, against the then established religion, by one that was Persecuted barely tolerated. He therefore caused the Jewish rabbi to be in Grana- apprehended and hanged; after which he began such a fierce da, A. C. persecution of that nation, that about 1500 families of them 1046. -that lived within his dominions, felt the dreadful effects of it; which proved the more severe, as they were, by a long series of prosperity, become very wealthy and powerfulb; and because there was reason to fear that the other princes of Spain would have followed his example; nevertheless, they had the good luck to fee, it quickly stopt there, and without spreading itself but of that kingdom (K).
* Gantz Tzemach, p. 130. b S01.0M. Ben Virc. p. 8.
(K) However as it was so before-hand, because they had violent whilst it lasted, the then kept a solemn fast all over Jew took it into their head Spain, on .the 9th of December, that God had caused that diias- the day on which this persceater to be bewailsd a long time tion afterwards began.